SleepCloud study

Want to stop snoring? Have a beer!

Naturally, the headline is wrong … for the most part. You can easily google countless studies showing that alcohol before sleep worsens your snoring. And they are right … for the most part. We have verified the relationship between alcohol and snoring on the live data collected from our users (where did we get the data?), and the result was pretty surprising.

“Alcohol increases snoring a little for most people, and a lot for some. But there are users who snore significantly less if they drink before they go to bed.”

From the data collection, we selected users who:

  • have at least 200 sleep records
  • tag their sleep with ‘alcohol’ on a regular basis (at least in 5% of their records),
  • and snore at least 1% of the night on average.

There were about 500 people who satisfied the criteria. Then we calculated how much of a difference did alcohol do to their snoring time.

Unsurprisingly, on the overall average, the nights tagged with ‘alcohol’ contain 12% more snoring. However, there are huge differences among individuals. Alcohol increases snoring a little for most people, and a lot for some. But there are users who snore significantly less if they drink before they go to bed. The histogram below illustrates the statistics.

The X-axis shows the percentage of how much snoring is increased/reduced by alcohol, and the Y-axis shows the number of users who fall into this rank. We can see that there are nearly 40 people (7% of the sample) who snore more than 40% less if they drink before they go to bed.

We verified that the relationship was statistically significant – very unlikely just a random artifact due to measurement errors. Indeed it seems that the impact of alcohol on snoring is more complex than the mainstream studies tell us.

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t blindly trust the studies, find the truths about your sleep yourself by observing the reality. However, how to observe the reality when you are asleep? This is where our app, Sleep as Android, can help you – to monitor your sleep, to collect the data, and to discover your particular sleep patterns.

Nevertheless, do not cure your snoring with alcohol more than moderately 🙂

Other articles in SleepCloud study series<< How do we sleep post-brexit?On Social Jetlag >>

6 thoughts on “Want to stop snoring? Have a beer!

    1. Hi – we are not doctors so I cannot really say if snoring is bad in every case. Usually it means that some part in the upper airways is loose. This does not have to be bad in itself, but may pose breathing problems, which in turn may be dangerous.

  1. Dear data scientists, the icon tag “alcohol” in those “strange” people meant anything they attributed the icon to. For example, this tag meant “I didn’t drink alcohol this day”.
    As for me, I usually select this icon tag when I use tongue retractor snoring prevention device, because the device looks pretty similar to a martini glass.
    Your conclusions are wrong.

  2. Dear Elias,

    Thank you for your comment. Real-life data is always noisy. We realize that many users do not use the tags consistently, and some, like you, use them creatively, in a completely different manner than they were intended.

    These random individual differences tend to cancel out in a large sample. We believe that most people use the the tags according to their original purpose, and the chart really captures the relationship between snoring and alcohol. But it’s just statistics, there is always an infinite number of ways how to interpret any particular statistical result.

    After all, the real main conclusion of the article is – capture your own data, form your own opinion.

    Best Regards, Jan

  3. For the first time greetings from Germany.
    I think that a beer before going to sleep is ok, but then please use alcohol-free, because the sleep-insonising effect alone causes the included hops.
    There are other natural remedies that are sagging. Lavender, Valerian, Passions fruit etc.
    That’s why it would be good if you had a hashtag for #No alcohol, #sleep aids or #natural sleeping aids embedding. Also a hashtag when you wake up at night to go to the toilet.
    I love your app
    Greetings Andrea

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