Is it good to drink alcohol before bed?

By December 7, 2020

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When was the last time you were liquored up before bed? That is usually considered to be beneficial to sleep, as you’ll feel drowsy and crack on the bed after drinking. However, experts agree that evening drinking can backfire, ruining a good night’s sleep.

Why does alcohol make you feel sleepy quickly?

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It is true that alcohol has a sedative effect. When you drink, your body will release more adenosine, a substance to promote sleep. And because drinking can reduce anxiety, you’re more likely to get relaxed and fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow. But all these are just on the surface. It has been proved that booze’s sedative qualities are obvious within just three days. As your alcohol tolerance develops, you’ll need more alcohol to achieve the same effect.

Drinking alcohol before bed messes up your sleep cycle

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Drinking alcohol will increase the period of slow-wave sleep in the first half of the night, but it dramatically decreases REM sleep at the same time. Loss of REM sleep can be damaging your health, as it is related to cognitive ability like memory, learning, and concentration.

After a few hours of deep sleep, alcohol metabolism is finished, and you are likely to find yourself frequently make bathroom runs in the second half of the night. That is due to alcohol suppresses vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone. Another problem caused by booze is sleep apnea, which is probably because it worsens the collapsibility of the upper airway and contributes to a higher BMI.

Therefore, alcohol is actually taking away your sleep time. Even if you’re in bed for more than 7 hours, you’ll probably feel tired and cranky the next day.

How to mitigate the side effect of alcohol on sleep

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In fact, you can sleep well even with some alcohol before bed. There are two ways for you to minimize the side effect of alcohol. First, drink at least three hours prior to hitting the hay. If you are going to process two drinks, it should be 4.5 hours. Remember, only when you give your body enough time to metabolize what you drink, your sleeping quality won’t be affected.

On the other hand, eating snacks or meals while you’re drinking may help reduce the total amount of alcohol absorbed into your body. Take good control of how much you drink. The less you drink, the faster you can bounce back from the effects of alcohol on your sleep.

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