One of the best tips for good sleep is to take a look at your alcohol intake!
Sleep isn’t a uniform thing, it’s composed of repeating 90 minutes cycles.
From being awake you drop into light sleep, and with normal sleep you progress into deeper sleep. Then you head back up towards being conscious but before you get there you have REM sleep, also known as dreaming sleep. This cycle repeats during the night.
REM sleep is important for laying down new memories, processing emotions, and it fuels creativity. Waking up in the morning with new insights to a problem or having a solution to a problem is largely down to REM sleep.
The deeper stages of sleep – stages 3 and 4, are restorative. A lot of repair in your body goes on here. Also – it’s harder to wake up when in these stages.
The Effects of Alcohol on Sleep
Boozing in the afternoon and evening can certainly help relax you, and even gives the illusion of helping with sleep. But alcohol is a sedative, not a natural sleep inducer.
As a sedative alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep. You don’t reach the deeper stages so you can wake up in the morning still feeling tired and sluggish, even if you’ve been ‘asleep’ all night. Also – your body’s efforts at repair are really hampered.
Alcohol is the most powerful suppressor of REM known. Even moderate amounts in the afternoon will deprive you of a full quota of REM sleep.
Some people can’t stay asleep all night when they’ve drank alcohol – that’s because it’s so easy to pop out of the alcohol induced light sleep when the sedation effects wear off.
Tips For Good Sleep
Having a skin full in the evening will wreck any chances of healthy sleep – you’ll get little or none deep restorative sleep, and perhaps no REM sleep.
Even sticking within ‘healthy drinking guidelines’ you risk disrupting your sleep dramatically.
From this knowledge you can make your choices but tips for good sleep as far as alcohol is concerned include:
- Avoid alcohol right before bed.
- If you’re going to drink do it earlier so your body can start clearing it before its sleep time
- Avoid it altogether if you want natural sleep
Look out for more tips for good sleep coming up.
Ask your questions below, and let me know any problems you see with this tip too.
Have a great week!
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