Rest & Relaxation

Sleep And Alcohol

Lesson 14 Chapter 4

You’ve Had A Long And Busy Day. A Drink Or Two Will Help You Sleep, Won’t It?

“If alcohol is costing you more than just money, it's time you made some changes.”


Short Term Gain, Long Term Damage

Alcohol might help you nod off, but even just a couple of drinks can affect the quality of your sleep. And if you're regularly drinking more than the UK guidelines by consuming more than 14 units a week you may find you wake up the next day feeling like you haven't had any rest at all.


How Alcohol Affects Your Sleep Patterns

Regular drinking can affect the quality of your sleep, making you feel tired and sluggish. This

is because drinking disrupts your sleep cycle.

When you drink alcohol before bed you may fall into deep sleep quicker. This is why some people find drinking alcohol helps them drop-off to sleep. But as the night goes on you spend more time in this deep sleep and less time than usual in the more restful, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep.

This can leave you feeling tired the next day no matter how long you stay in bed.

But having alcohol-free days can help. You should be sleeping better and find it easier to wake up in the morning.


Drinking Can Equal A Disturbed Night’s Sleep

When you drink more than usual, you may have to get up in the night to go to the toilet. And it's not just the liquid you've drunk that you'll be getting rid of. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it encourages the body to lose extra fluid through sweat too, making you dehydrated.

Drinking can also make you snore loudly. It relaxes the muscles in your body, which means the tissue in your throat, mouth and nose can stop air flowing smoothly, and is more likely to vibrate.


Why You Should Avoid Alcohol Just Before Bedtime

If you are drinking alcohol, try to avoid it too close to bedtime. Give your body time to process the alcohol you've drunk before you try to sleep – on average it takes an hour to process one unit, but this can vary widely from person to person.

When was the last time you went without alcohol for a month?

If you knew you would sleep better, have more energy and lose weight quickly, would you stop for a month?