Alcohol and sleep don't mix...
While alcohol can make you sleepy, it's not actually good for your sleep...
Since alcohol acts as a depressant, it slows brain activity and can cause drowsiness, but the truth is that alcohol consumption (particularly in excess) lowers both the length and quality of your sleep.
To clear up any misconceptions about the overlap between booze and bedrest, here are three of the key facts:
1. Alcohol decreases REM sleep
Because alcohol can make you fall asleep so quickly, it creates an imbalance between the different sleep cycles. This results in less REM sleep, meaning you sleep less and experience more disruptions.
2. Excessive alcohol = persistent insomnia
People who regularly consume excessive alcohol also report persistent problems with insomnia. Unfortunately, this creates a repeating cycle where alcohol diminishes sleep quality, and alcohol is then used to try and fall asleep.
3. Alcohol increases risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
The scientific consensus is that drinking alcohol increases the risk of OSA by 25%. OSA is a sleep disorder which itself increases risk of problems like high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
The facts are clear that alcohol and sleep don't mix.
This doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a good drink now and again, just make sure to drink responsibly, and don't do so thinking it's going to magically help you get your eight hours of shuteye.
If poor sleep and excessive alcohol consumption are issues for you or someone you know, please speak to a doctor.
Get in touch with us and book an appointment with your GP.
Healthy sleep is vital for a healthy life.