How Alcohol Affects Your Sleep Cycles.

How Alcohol Affects Your Sleep Cycles.

Even though alcohol may help you doze off, you'll discover that you’ll wake up the next morning not feeling well-rested.

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 sleep. Alcohol can affect the body’s restoration process. The body comes out of deep sleep and reverts back to the REM sleep, which is easier to wake up from. This explains why after drinking, people wake up just after a few hours of sleep. During the night, an individual typically has up to 7 cycles of REM sleep, but the number of REM cycles drops to 2 when you drink alcohol, which means you'll wake up feeling tired.

Negative impact of drinking before bedtime

Drinking will make you wake up during the night to go to the bathroom. Also, alcohol is a diuretic, it stimulates loss of the liquid from the body, such as sweat, which is why you become dehydrated.

Drinking can also promote loud snoring by increasing the likelihood of vibration which can have a negative impact on individuals with sleep disorders or breathing issues. Their quality of sleep will be significantly decreased.

Women have a tendency to absorb larger amounts of alcohol as opposed to men. If a male and a female drink the same extent of alcohol, the female will have a higher concentration in her bloodstream and her quality of sleep will be affected more.

Tips to get better sleep

In order to decrease your chances of having interrupted sleep, don't consume alcohol or caffeine before bedtime. If you do, stop drinking around 3-4 hours prior to bedtime.

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