The French Connection: Alcohol Abuse and Snoring!

No, please don’t misinterpret that headline. It is not in any way implying that the French are the worst in the world when it comes to snoring loudly after drinking alcohol. It’s not meant to infer that our good friends across the Channel are the only ones struggling with the boozing =snoring problem. Au contraire!

The headline (which, you have to admit, caught your attention and made you want to read on!) refers to French wine: Chablis, Marguax, Pétrus, Saint Emilion… (the list is endless ), all of which were once quaffed regularly and in considerable quantities by Gerard – a 52-year-old art gallery manager in Gloucestershire – who snored so loudly after drinking that he once fell asleep in his first floor flat and activated a car alarm on the street below!

“Tis true,” Gerard confirms. “On one hot summer’s night last year, I snored so loudly that the resultant vibrations made the open sash windows of my flat shudder in their frames. The reverberation was so severe that, incredibly, it somehow transmitted to a Lexus LS parked on the street below, causing its very sensitive car alarm to go off.”

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the racket outside didn’t disturb Gerard!
As Gerard remained sound asleep, neighbours and householders across the street woke and grew increasingly angry as the car alarm continued to blare for a full hour before the vehicle’s owner finally arrived.

An ‘alarming’ tale indeed.

“Prior to seeking help for alcoholism, on the evenings when I was somehow able to resist having a glass or three of my beloved French wine, I didn’t snore at all,” Gerard helpfully explains with a smile.

So, why does drinking alcohol often result in loud snoring? What’s the link? And is there light at the end of the nostril (oops!) tunnel for those poor souls out there who are married to (or cohabitate) with a heavy drinker who snores all night like an asthmatic camel?

Let’s find out!

Drinking and snoring – key facts
The bottom line here is that alcohol is a relaxant. It makes you feel chilled (unless you’re the bar brawling ‘I’m gonna rip your head off, mate!”- type, that is). As your mind relaxes, so does your body, your muscles, your organs… The muscles at the back of your mouth simply slacken, causing blockages in the airways. The passages through which oxygen passes narrow to such an extent that loud snoring results: after all that booze, your throat then has to fight to force the air out as you sleep. (And the last thing it needs is for a heavy and limp tongue to get in the way!)

To avoid all this, the solution is to not drink alcohol before going to bed, right? But if it was that easy, you’d already be doing it. To significantly reduce your snoring, get to the core of the problem: a) look at your regular alcohol consumption level as a whole, and take steps towards lessening it, or b) quit drinking altogether.

Note: if kicking the booze for good is not want you want to achieve, and reducing your alcohol intake each week is your goal, then seeking professional help is still your best bet. Clinicians, counsellors and other experienced professionals at private Rehab clinics across the UK will take you through a step-by-step (tailored) treatment programme that could include all or some of the following modules:

  • Detox
  • Medication and Nutritional Support
  • 12-Steps Abstinence-Based Therapy
  • Psychotherapy (both group and individual) & CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

As well as:

  • Relapse Prevention
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Aftercare, and
  • Family Support

Rehab Treatment UK can assist with admission into a private clinic in Surrey, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Scotland, or at another location in the UK.

A final word from Gerard:

“Like me (someone who did not want to necessarily give up alcohol altogether), most people return home from Rehab and find that enjoying the odd glass of Chablis or Marguax in the early evening, or at lunchtime, will suffice. The urge to drink later at night (i.e. before bedtime) is no longer there, meaning that their snoring is considerably reduced or has stopped completely.”


I could not stop drinking, having tried various methods. After making contact with Rehab Treatment UK I was put at ease immediately. All my options were carefully explained and 2 days later admitted to Rehab. Without the speedy response I would probably still be drinking today, Already, the home is a happier place. Thank you Jane for starting the process for a life of sobriety.
B. Middlesex

Thank you to Rehab Treatment UK and everyone at the Clinic that was involved in my Detox. It has been hard, but the fun everyone has made it, helped to make it easier.
S. Hull