How Alcohol Affects Your Sleep Cycles.

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How Alcohol Affects Your Sleep Cycles.

Even though alcohol may help you doze off, even a few drinks could influence the condition of your sleep. If you have alcohol more regularly than is recommended you will discover that you’ll wake up the next morning not feeling well-rested at all.

How does alcohol influence your sleep?

Having a drink just before bed can make you fall into a deep sleep immediately making you miss the initial stage of sleep known as Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. Alcohol can affect the body’s restoration process which occurs during deep sleep because as it begins to wear off, the body comes out of deep sleep and reverts back to the REM phase of sleep , which is a lot easier to wake up from. This explains why after drinking, people wake up just after a few hours of sleep when they’ve had a few drinks prior. During the night, an individual typically has up to 7 cycles of REM sleep and that leaves one in a rejuvenated state, but if a person drinks the number of REM cycles drops to 2 and this means they will wake up feeling tired instead of refreshed.

Negative impact of drinking before bedtime

Drinking a lot more than you should will make you wake up in the course of the night to go to the bathroom. It should also be noted that alcohol, being a diuretic, stimulates loss of the liquid drunk and extra fluid from the body, such as sweat and this explains why you become dehydrated after a night of heavy drinking.

Drinking can also promote loud snoring by relaxing your body muscles so that the tissues located in your mouth, nose and throat discontinue the smooth flow of air and increasing the likelihood of vibration. This is why drinking before bed can negatively impact individuals suffering from sleep disorders or people with breathing issues. Heavy drinking before bed aggravates snoring and breathing at night, especially for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Their quality of sleep will be significantly decreased.

Women, have a tendency to absorb larger amounts of alcohol as opposed to men because they have fewer quantities of the enzyme required to break down alcohol. If a male and a female drink the same extent of alcohol, the female will have a higher concentration in her bloodstream as opposed to the male and thus her quality of sleep will be affected more.

Tips to get better sleep

In order to decrease your chances of having interrupted sleep, you may want to opt for other drink choices instead of alcohol or caffeine before bedtime. If this is not a likely option, then you should stop drinking around 3-4 hours prior to bedtime.

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