Is Alcohol your nightly dose of “Nyquil” to catch some Zzz?

Today we are going to talk about the effects of drinking alcohol in the evening has on the quality of sleep you get.

This one is controversial because many who have a few drinks each evening will swear that it actually helps them sleep.

And yes I will agree that it definitely relaxes the body and does help to fall asleep faster.

But let me ask you this:  

How many mornings do you jump out of bed ready to take on the day after a few drinks the night before?

I bet it’s not too many.

In fact, I have personal experience with this.

It’s no secret that I love wine and would have a couple of glasses a night.  I thought that I was sleeping pretty good and unless I had more than two drinks, I felt pretty good the next day.

But then I chose to let go of my wine for a while, and it was then that I experienced what great sleep was like.  I woke up with no need for caffeine; I had great energy.  I was not moody or felt overly emotional. And I had no sweet cravings.

I noticed the difference right away.

I no longer woke up in the middle of the night being dehydrated and chugging a big glass of water, to only have to wake up again needing to pee.

Not drinking was a huge eye-opener for me.  My nightly way to relax was not serving my body AT ALL.

Being the curious type that I am, I wanted to do some research and learn the affects that alcohol has on the body during sleep.  And here is what I learned!

Impairs Digestion

First, it negatively impacts digestion.  Because alcohol is a toxin in the body, digestion shuts down in order to metabolize the alcohol first.  Once that is done, it resumes the normal function of digesting food.

Side note – alcohol also disrupts our friendly gut bacteria.  Ever had stomach issues the next morning after drinking a little too much?

Repair and Recovery

Drinking alcohol too close to bedtime will throw off your sleep cycles and not allow your body to go into all REM cycles of sleep.  Therefore, your body does not get proper repair and recovery.

Drinking alcohol consistently each evening puts you at risk for a weak immune system, which leads to all kinds of illnesses and injury.

Impairs Brain

Lastly, when the body does not go through all the REM cycles of sleep, it does not allow time for the brain to detoxify as this occurs during sleep.  If you are waking up in the morning feeling as though you didn’t sleep or experiencing slowed thinking and forgetfulness throughout the day, these are critical signs your brain didn’t get to detoxify. A more prominent sign is a hangover headache…. YUCK!!!

Again by consistently drinking alcohol in the evening too close to bedtime and not allowing your body to go through the necessary sleep cycles can put you at risk for some nasty brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Who knew that by trying to relax and fall asleep easier by having a few drinks could put our health at such risk?

Now listen, if you are one that likes to relax with a glass of wine or a cocktail, I am not about to take that away from you.  However, I would invite you to take a really close look at how much you are consuming and what time you stop drinking each evening.

Here are some tips!

Stop drinking at least two hours before bedtime and drink a lot of water to help your body metabolize the alcohol.

If you are drinking every night, take a really close look at why.

The issue isn’t the alcohol, most likely you are under stress or feeling emotional.

Being able to manage triggers in a healthier way will benefit your overall health.  Think leisure walks, deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.

I was watching a Master Class on hormones and found it very interesting that more than four servings of alcohol in a week is considered excessive and will negatively impact your hormones.  Ladies, this is huge for us!  Having a hormonal imbalance is not fun (I am currently working through low testosterone and thyroid issues right now), and it takes a while to correct!

So if you drink on a nightly basis, PLEASE implement some strategies, so that you can get quality sleep and improve your health!

Well, that’s a wrap on sleep!  We covered what happens when we don’t get quality of sleep, how to create a bedtime routine and why it’s important, how to block blue light at night and why we should not drink alcohol too close to bedtime.

I hope the blogs for this month have inspired you to make some changes and improve your sleep quality!!

But if you are struggling and need help, I am here for ya!

 



Is sleep and stress management an area you need help in?  Setting routines may feel daunting at first, but once you get them integrated into your life, they can be serious game changers for your health!!

If you’d like to chat about your unique circumstance and need help finding solutions for sleep and stress management, book a free 30-minute strategy call with me!

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