How Alcohol Is Sabotaging Your Sleep
Do you like downing a glass of wine or beer before going to bed to help you sleep? If so, then this blog post is definitely for you.
The feeling of drowsiness and relaxation after a few shots or glasses of your favourite bevvy before bed might be negatively affecting your slumber. Apart from making you nod off quicker, there’s a lot more going on in your body and brain when you drink. Initially, the alcohol acts as a stimulant that releases feel-good hormones (endorphins) in your brain but afterwards, it hampers your sleep quality and quantity.
If it is hard for you to believe that drinking alcohol is actually sabotaging your sleep, then read this post to find out how.
Acts as a Sedative
As mentioned earlier, alcohol acts as a stimulant at first as it makes you feel confident and relaxed. But after a while, it acts as a sedative that might make you drowsy as well as alter your quality of sleep. If your blood sugar level is high, it can lead to loss of consciousness or even worse situations.
Hampers Glucose Generation
There are certain major functions of the body such as breathing and blood circulation that need to be maintained even when you’re asleep. For that, your body burns fat and uses it as fuel or glucose for your brain while you’re sleeping. But, alcohol hampers this process of glucose generation leading to a low blood sugar level and midnight cravings for carbs. When you wake up in the middle of the night to eat something, your sound sleep is disturbed leaving you with incomplete sleep.
Reduces Rapid Eye Movement (REM)
A normal sleep cycle is divided into four stages, N1, N2, N3 and REM. N1 is like a brief transition phase between sleep and wakefulness. N2 is the stage where your breathing pattern and heart rate begins to slow down. N3 is the phase of deep sleep when your body works at restoring itself. The last stage is REM or rapid eye movement, which is filled with dreams. The final stage is the most active part where our muscles are paralyzed to prevent us from acting out our dreams. Some experts believe that alcohol may help you fall asleep quicker, but reduces your REM sleep. As a result, you still feel drowsy and have difficulty concentrating after you wake up.
Disrupts Total Sleep Time
You may find it easy to sleep after a few drinks, but your total sleep time is disrupted. Frequent visits to the bathroom, midnight cravings, restlessness and suppressed REM will disturb your slumber and make it difficult for you to fall back asleep. This is called the rebound effect and the reason behind it is that alcohol is a fast acting drug that reaches your brain within minutes through the bloodstream. But its effects are short-lived because your liver metabolises the alcohol and reduces the intensity of your sleepiness leading to disturbed sleep.
Leads to Night Sweats
Alcohol is a chemical substance that dilates your blood vessels which decreases blood pressure. This process is called vasodilation. The enlargement of blood vessels near the skin makes your skin warm. As a natural function of the body to maintain the optimum body temperature, the sweat glands become active leading to heavy sweating. Your body temperature is cooled down but sudden night sweats disturb your sleep.
Consuming alcohol before going to bed might sound tempting, but it negatively affects your sleep. Avoid drinking at night to enjoy restful sleep as it is necessary for your body and brain to recharge and repair any damaged cells. Make sure that you sleep for at least 7 hours per night and feel the difference. If you still experience difficulty sleeping, then it’s probably due to an uncomfortable mattress. Switch to a natural mattress and bedding from Dormio Organic Beds and get a good night’s sleep.