An evening tipple (or two) may be tempting at the end of a long day, but do you know how much of an impact it can have your sleep?
Here’s what happens – behind closed eyes – when you fall asleep after drinking…
Reduction in deep sleep:
Drinking alcohol before bedtime is linked with a reduction in deep sleep, which helps with memory formation and learning.
It can interrupt your circadian rhythm:
Whilst you may fall asleep quicker after drinking, it also becomes more likely that you will wake up in the middle of the night. This is because alcohol affects the production of chemicals in the body that trigger sleep. After you’ve consumed alcohol, these chemicals subside quicker, making you more likely to wake up before you’ve truly rested!
It blocks REM sleep:
Rapid Eye Movement Sleep, or REM sleep, is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. When we enter REM sleep, your eyes move back and forth behind the eyelids and your heart rate and breathing quickens. During this phase of sleep, you’re more likely to be dreaming as well. Alcohol consumption is known to block REM sleep, and this can leave you feeling tired the next day no matter how long a lie-in you have!
It makes you snore:
Alcohol causes your whole body to relax, including the muscles in your throat. This makes you more prone to snoring and sleep apnea.
It can lead to extra bathroom trips:
As you unwind each evening, your body knows that it is time for sleep, and not time for trips to the bathroom. Alcohol, a diuretic, encourages the body to lose extra fluid through sweat and trips to the bathroom, interrupting your normal sleep pattern and leaving you dehydrated.
With all of this in mind, we would always recommend that you stick to the recommended units each week. We want you to get the best night’s sleep possible, and so by simply reducing your alcohol intake throughout the week, you can significantly improve the quality of your sleep.