Alcohol and Sleep: That rest really is for the beauty.

Alcohol and Sleep: That rest really is for the beauty.

Did you know that while a nightcap might seem like a remedy for faster sleep, it can actually disrupt your sleep cycle?

The Sleep Foundation (1) notes that even less than two drinks for men and less than one for women can reduce sleep quality by 9.3%.

High amounts, defined as more than two drinks for men and more than one for women, can decrease sleep quality by a significant 39.2%. (*Source: Sleep Foundation)

Understanding your sleep cycle sheds light on why alcohol affects sleep.

There are four stages:
Stage I (light sleep)
Stage II (progression towards deep sleep)
Stage III (slow-wave sleep)
Stage IV (REM sleep).

Alcohol's sedative effect may speed up the transition to deep sleep and increase time in non-REM (NREM) sleep early in the night.

This delay and reduction in REM sleep diminishes the restorative aspect of your sleep cycle. Additionally, alcohol's diuretic effect can disrupt sleep by causing awakenings during the night.

Research also suggests a connection between chronic sleep disorders and long-term alcohol use, potentially worsening conditions like sleep apnea. This disorder leads to abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, stressing the heart and lungs.

In essence, while alcohol might seem to induce sleep, it can lead to fragmented and less restorative sleep, leaving you feeling tired, with bloodshot eyes, noticeable bags under the eyes and relying on caffeine to jumpstart your morning. 

Might be time to find a new nightcap. 



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