Sleep is important for our health and wellbeing. In fact, we can’t live without it. So what happens when alcohol interferes with your sleep?
Alcohol effects the quality of your sleep.
Alcohol interferes with the normal sleep process, making you feel much less rested than you normally would. Lack of sleep or poor sleep can affect your health and quality of life, causing fatigue, affecting concentration and memory, acting as a trigger for some mental health problems and affecting daytime alertness and performance. Ultimately, you may be less productive and more prone to accidents.
Together with good nutrition and proper exercise, sleep is a key component of good health.
Exhaustion and fatigue
While drinking alcohol before bedtime may help you fall asleep, it can also reduce and change the sleep stages necessary for good health.
- Rapid-eye-movement sleep state (REM) can be reduced or missed out on altogether. Typically, you have six to seven cycles of REM sleep during the night, leaving you feeling refreshed. If you’ve been drinking, you’ll most likely have only one or two cycles so you tend to wake up feeling exhausted.
- Deep sleep state (when the body and mind restores itself) is also interfered with when you drink. As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of deep sleep and back into REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. That’s why you often wake up after just a few hours of sleep when you’ve been drinking.
Alcohol is a diuretic so it encourages the body to lose extra fluid. For this reason, you may have to get up during the night to go to the toilet or find yourself sweating a lot.
Drinking can make you snore loudly. It relaxes the muscles in your body including the tissue in your throat, mouth and nose, preventing air from flowing smoothly and causing you to snore.