This Is Why You Never Get A Good Night’s Sleep After Drinking

Some people rely on a nightcap to help them to sleep, but did you know that when you drink alcohol before bed, it makes darn sure that you do not get a good night’s sleep.

If you find that you wake up feeling worse for wear, even though you only drank a glass of wine, or perhaps a small glass of scotch, then you will be pleased to know that there is a scientific reason for it – and it’s not just because you’re getting older.

There are many downsides to drinking alcohol before bed, from needing to urinate a lot, and finding that you don’t wake up feeling like you’ve had a good sleep, among so much more.

In this article we shall take a look at why you shouldn’t drink alcohol before bed, and how it can affect your sleep. So, let’s get to it!

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Sleep?

When you drink alcohol, it is easy to feel its effects. It can make you feel super sleepy and quite drowsy, which some might think is the perfect cocktail (see what we did there) to help you sleep.

Once sleep sets in, you might think that the effects of alcohol diminish pretty quickly. However, this just isn’t the case. In fact, alcohol can have quite an impact on whether we have a good sleep or not.

Take a look below to find out how alcohol can affect your sleep and why you don’t feel refreshed after a glass of scotch. 

It Makes You Get Up And Urinate Often

It isn’t unknown that alcohol is a type of diuretic drink. This means it will make you need to pee more often, as it blocks the gland that regulates the control of water within your body. 

When you urinate more, not only will you be getting up and out of bed more often to head to the bathroom, but you will also become dehydrated. Once you are dehydrated, you will feel pretty rough in the morning.

To compensate for this dehydration, you will want to drink a full cup of water in the morning to replace any lost fluids through lack of hydration and sweating. 

You Can Become Highly Sensitive

If you drink a fair bit of alcohol, you find that your actions become slower and your words might even begin to slur. Whilst you might find that once you hit the pillow you are out as fast as lightning, any sound or light might wake you up a few hours later.

This is because as the alcohol slows down both the central nervous system and the brain, it starts to act as a depressant. Once it has finished being processed by that poor liver, you become highly sensitive to everything around you.

You might not even know it however, so that is why you may wake up if a light comes on or if there is a banging noise outside. 

You Are More Likely To Snore

If you don’t snore whilst you sleep, then you might just do once you have had some alcohol. Because alcohol can relax the muscles within your body, it also relaxes the tissue that is found in the throat, along with the nose and mouth.

Because of this, the air cannot flow through very well which will cause it to vibrate. This then will cause you to snore.

Whilst nothing to worry about generally, if you suffer from sleep apnea or suffer with your breathing, you may want to consider cutting down the alcohol. 

You Won’t Spend Much Time In A Deep Sleep

This Is Why You Never Get A Good Night’s Sleep After Drinking

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You go through many stages of sleep during the night, from deep sleep to REM (Rapid Eye Movement), the time when you start dreaming. 

When you drink, especially when you have drunk too much, you are more likely to experience REM than a deep sleep, causing you to wake up feeling in a less than restful way.

Whilst you may have gotten a full eight hours, you certainly won’t feel like you have. Just because you slept for eight hours, it needs to be a relaxed eight hours, rather than one that has been restless. 

It Messes With The Natural Circadian Rhythm

The circadian rhythm is the way your body works internally throughout the day when it goes through its functions. When you drink alcohol, it can mess with the natural rhythm.

So, when it messes it up, it basically means that alcohol can affect the regular production of the hormones that trigger when it is time to sleep. Once you drink an alcoholic beverage, adenosine (a chemical that is released for sleep) becomes increased.

Once this increases, whilst it helps you sleep, it then decreases just as fast causing you to have a restless sleep

Hormones Create A Restless Sleep

Speaking of hormones, because your body will be unable to release hormones at the times it is meant to, you will suffer with a restless sleep rather than one that is blissful.

So, instead of waking up feeling refreshed and happy for the new day, you will feel like you barely slept despite spending hours in bed. 

This is all down to the pituitary gland. Once the body temperature drops, the gland then begins to release the hormones it is supposed to.

Alcohol has a way of making the gland lose its function, stopping it from releasing the hormones when it is supposed to throughout the night. 

Body Temperature Will Drop Further

Naturally, it is common for the body temperature to drop as we sleep, once we have alcohol in the system, it drops even further.

You might not even notice this as you are wrapped under the duvet, but your body will feel its effects.

For example, this is something else that disrupts the circadian rhythm. 

So, How Do You Get A Good Night’s Sleep When Drinking Alcohol?

We know that there isn’t a specific method or guaranteed way to get a good night’s sleep after drinking alcohol, but there are some things you can do to at least feel restful, even if you are planning to have a Friday night out with friends.

One way is to have a healthy meal before you drink alcohol. This will help to line the stomach. Also, make sure you stay hydrated. Drinking water before, during and after you are done drinking, will help to lessen the effects of alcohol.

Lastly, and probably the most important, stop drinking early. If you are out with friends, you might want to end the night feeling all hyped on drink, but it can be a horrible idea that you will pay for later. Knowing when to stop drinking alcohol will help you to sleep better.

Anyway, there are some great non-alcoholic options these days.

Final Thoughts

We know that alcohol can severely affect sleep. Your body takes time to process the alcohol and that prevents you from getting to deep sleep. It can be subtle, but even if you have only had a couple of drinks, it can cause damage. If you want to feel refreshed the next day, either avoid alcohol altogether or drink sensibly and be sure to stop early.

You can also lessen the effects by drinking water in between drinks, and making sure you eat a meal before you head on out to the bars.  

However, if you are struggling with sleep and have been drinking, think about cutting it out altogether and learning how to sleep without relying on alcohol. That way, you will realize how much better you feel. 

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Easy Sleep Guide

We are a group of individuals who have a fascination, with the world of sleep and dreams. Our website and social media community were created with the purpose of educating and informing our audience about every aspect of sleep. We cover everything from tips to the advancements in sleep technology. Our team, consisting of real life experts works tirelessly to curate top quality content that offers an understanding of sleep related topics. We take pride in being your trusted source, for all things related to sleep providing insights and knowledge to help you achieve an revitalizing sleep experience.

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