The Relationship Between Alcohol and Poor Sleep
How Alcohol Negatively Affects Your Sleeping Patterns
Many people come home from a long day at work and enjoy a couple of drinks but did you know that alcohol before bed can actually affect your ability to have a good nights rest? People tend to enjoy a few drinks before bed in order to relax but, in turn, their quality of sleep is sacrificed. While alcohol does make you fall asleep quicker, it will also be the reason you wake up randomly in the middle of the night and cannot fall back asleep.
When an individual drinks alcohol, they go through what is called ‘second sleep’ which is the second half of your night’s rest. The second portion of the individuals sleep in negatively affected as a result of alcohol and affects their ability to fall back asleep after they have woken up. This explains why you wake up randomly in the middle of the night after a night of drinking and cannot fall back asleep easily. The more you drink, the more your sleep is affected.
Cutting Back on Alcohol Consumption
If you are drinking several nights in a row, your body and mind are truly taking a hard hit. The more consecutive nights that you drink, the more likely your chances of becoming dependent on alcohol are. Additionally, the lack of sleep over time will make you lethargic and tired which inevitably means you won’t be able to perform your best at work or as a friend, parents, or coach. Cutting back on nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine several hours before you intend on going to bed will help you have a better nights rest.
A less restorative sleep will take a toll on every aspect of your life. When you consume alcohol as a sleep aid, you are actually doing the opposite. The consequences of drinking alcohol before bed are:
- Inability to do your best at your job
- Feeling lethargic and lazy
- Unmotivated to exercise
- More likely to eat unhealthily
- Disruptive sleep
- Getting up to go pee throughout the night
Some of the health consequences are:
- Unhealthy gut
- Liver damage
- Less brain function
- Inability to metabolize alcohol correctly
Although alcohol consumption may seem like an innocent thing, it truly affects our circadian rhythm and has countless repercussions on your overall health.
REM sleep in the deepest form of sleep that an individual can have and it is the stage of sleep where dreams occur. When you drink alcohol before bed, your body cannot reach the stage of REM. This phase of sleep allows you to have better concentration, increased memory, and the ability to process things betters which means it’s an important level of sleep to reach.
Women are more susceptible to the negative effects of alcohol before bed than men are due to the fact that they do not metabolize it as quickly. This makes them more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol although men will experience the same effects when consuming larger quantities of alcohol as well.
It’s important that you do not consume alcohol before bed as there are other, natural forms of sleep aids available. Alcohol is never the answer when looking to fall asleep quickly as this can lead you down a road of dependency and addiction.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.