Although you may get sleepy quickly after having a few drinks, alcohol will not make you sleep better. Here’s why.
Sleepiness and relaxation are both common — and frequently well-liked — effects of drinking alcohol. Drinking a few beers can relieve stress, especially when you suffer from sleep problems. Between 20 and 30 percent of those with insomnia frequently drink alcohol to help them fall to sleep. Don’t fall for the myth that alcohol is the best way to sleep. Although drinking regularly can assist you in falling asleep faster at night, it may affect your sleep patterns — and not always for the better.
“Unfortunately, alcohol never improves sleep. While alcohol can help relax and make sleep easier for certain, up to three minutes after falling asleep most people wake up and have trouble getting back to sleep. However, those who depend on alcohol won’t be able to sleep even if they do not drink,” claims the doctor. John Mendelson, founder of Ria Health and a clinical medical professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
How can alcohol affect sleep?
Alcohol is an anti-central nervous system stimulant, which gives you the sensation of a relaxed, comfortable feeling. This is why many people fall asleep after drinking, and the reason it could appear as if drinking alcohol can help sleep. The effects of alcohol on sleep aren’t just a straightforward issue, as there are many ways drinking alcohol affects your sleep quality. That you experience.
To clarify that we’re not only talking about heavy or binge drinking. A drink or two too close to bedtime could significantly influence your sleeping.
There are four ways alcohol can affect your sleep.
The effects of alcohol can be disruptive to REM sleep
Its calming properties make alcohol appear like a guaranteed way to get a good night’s sleep. However, it is not a good choice for restorative and peaceful sleep is diminished. Research has proven that alcohol consumption can alter your sleep cycle, specifically REM sleep. Keep in mind that REM sleep is when dreams occur.
“Evidence suggests that the long sleep of alcohol can be linked to a rise in the frontal alpha waves, which are indicators of wakefulness and disruption of sleep. So, the sleepiness of alcohol may not be beneficial,” says Dan Ford, Sleep psychologist and co-founder of the Better Sleep Clinic.
While you might initially be able to fall asleep faster but you’re not getting the advantages of REM sleep throughout the night. If you don’t get sufficient REM sleep, you’ll never feel refreshed, and you’ll notice that it affects your performance throughout the day. Studies have proven that alertness levels drop after an alcohol-related night of heavy drinking.
It is more common to wake up after having a few drinks.
It was mentioned earlier that alcohol is a central nervous system stimulant. In the process of metabolizing the alcohol, your excitatory nerves are stimulated. This means that the excitatory nerve cells within the brain are suppressed, which is why you sleep. For most people, this doesn’t last for long. This can result in you waking up and struggling to get back to the sleep you were getting.
Although this is a common occurrence, it’s not the case. For those who aren’t to you, be thankful. This kind of side effect occurs to me every time I drink an alcohol-fueled drink in the evening. The glass is fun for a while, but I’ll tell you that when I’m gazing towards my roof at three early in the morning, I wish I had stayed clear of it.
The production of Melatonin is slowed down by alcohol within our bodies.
The body produces Melatonin to control the cycle of sleep and wake, which occurs in tandem with sunlight. The pineal gland releases Melatonin when the sun sets, and we begin to feel exhausted. When you drink, it’s effectively swerving your sleep-wake cycles off.
Drinking alcohol reduces Melatonin production regardless of whether the sun is up or not. A study has found that drinking alcohol for an hour before going to bed can reduce the production of Melatonin by 20 percent.
You’re probably thinking: I can take a melatonin dietary supplement and fight the adverse effects. But not so fast. It’s not advised to mix alcohol with Melatonin. Possible side effects include anxiety, hypertension or dizziness, or breathing problems. Combining both can impact your liver’s capacity to make specific enzymes on a more general scale.
Alcohol can increase the severity of sleep disorders.
In the event of obstructive sleep apnea, meaning the tongue and throat muscles are already blocking your airway, drinking alcohol can make the problem more severe. If you drink alcohol before going to bed and suffer from sleep apnea, the throat muscles will become more relaxed and will collapse more frequently, which leads to frequent breathing interruptions that will last longer than usual.
Alcohol consumption is linked to an increase in the risk of suffering from sleep apnea by 25percent. This is also a factor in the lowest oxygen saturation levels in people suffering from sleep apnea. Oxygen saturation measures the amount of oxygen within your bloodstream and the efficiency it can transport to your heart, brain, and extremities.
Alcohol can also aggravate insomnia, the most prevalent sleep disorder. It’s manifested by difficulty sleeping and waking up during the night or getting up too early.
It’s estimated that anywhere between 35% to 70% of those who drink alcohol have insomnia. It’s an egg and chicken situation. Problems with insomnia are often exacerbated due to the consumption of alcohol. In addition, insomnia is a risk to lead to dependence on alcohol.
At first glance, the effects of alcohol’s sedative properties could appear to alleviate sleepiness and aid your sleep. However, given the possibility of REM disturbances in sleep and the frequent awakenings, it’s not recommended any person use alcohol for treating their insomnia symptoms.
How can you sleep better after drinking alcohol?
It is possible to take a sip still and rest comfortably. Follow these suggestions to ensure your favorite cocktail doesn’t make you sleepy late at night.
Be aware of the effects of alcohol on your sleep.
It is essential to be aware of the effects alcohol has on you and your sleeping schedule. “Keep an eye on your sleep to determine the duration and quality of your sleep and then add that to your drink intake and time to determine if you observe patterns that relate to your sleep quality,” Mendelson advises.
The effect alcohol has on your sleep is dependent on your personal needs. It can be as complex or as simple as you like. You can write it down in a journal or keep track of yourself every morning. If you’re trying to observe how it affects you, You can establish limits to your body and your needs.
Do not use alcohol for sleep.
There are many tricks we employ to help us get to sleep fast. However, alcohol consumption isn’t the best method to sleep well. As it appears, it’s a technique that won’t last for long. Studies on behavior have revealed that although drinking two to three drinks before bedtime can assist you in falling asleep, the effects fade with time, up to six days of usage (PDF).
If you’re having difficulty sleeping, think about changing your nightcaps to more relaxing activities during your nighttime routine. It could be anything that can help your body relax by reading a book, having a bath, or practicing yoga.
Stop drinking for at least 4 hours before going to bed
It’s still possible to enjoy cocktails and get a good night’s sleep. It’s not necessary to abstain from alcohol altogether, but the timing of your drinks can mean an important factor in sleeping throughout the night or flipping and turning.
“If you decide to drink alcohol, be sure to drink it moderately and limit your consumption at least four hours before the time you go to bed to prevent its adverse effects on your sleep,” suggests Dr. Raj Dasgupta, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine in the University of Southern California.