Though alcohol might make it feel easier to get to sleep faster, it can hugely affect the quality of your night’s sleep, so come the morning you still feel exhausted.
At Beds Are Uzzz we are committed to ensuring that you regularly get a healthy night's sleep. To help you prepare for the year ahead, our sleep experts share how too much alcohol can impact your sleep routine, and what you can do to stay rested throughout 2018.
How alcohol can impact your night’s sleep
Sleep induced by alcohol affects your sleep cycle by plunging you into a deep sleep too quickly. This causes you to skip REM (Rapid Eye Movement) - a phase of sleep where the brain is the most active. During this phase you are most likely to dream, and process memories. This sleep stage also stimulates parts of the brain that are associated with learning. This disrupted sleep cycle will cause havoc on how you feel the day after, and will cause your body to play catch up for many nights after.
Your nightcap might have helped you drift off, but it won’t stop you from waking up in the night. As your body flushes out the alcohol in your system, you will find yourself needing to go to the toilet more often than usual. The process of alcohol leaving your system will also leave you feeling dehydrated too - meaning that you will likely wake up suddenly in need of a big glass of water. Waking up throughout the night will mean that you are losing important hours of sleep, and the sleep you do get is not of the best quality to make sure you get the rest you need.
There are many health conditions associated between alcohol and sleep, with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea being one of the most common.
Sleep Apnoea is a breathing condition that stops your breathing for a few seconds as the walls of your throat relax. When this happens, the lack of oxygen will send signals to your brain and pull you out of your sleep. Depending on the severity of the condition, there are also a handful of unwelcome side effects, such as; loud snoring and noisy breathing.
How to improve your sleep in 2018
The beginning of a new year is always a busy time, and to stay on top of everything it's important you get the sleep you need. During this time of year, it might be that you have been treating yourself to more alcohol than usual. Make sure to consider your sleep cycle, and follow a few of these tips to ensure you are rested enough to enjoy the start of 2018.
Let the alcohol wear off before you go to bed
It takes one hour for your body to wear off one unit. Make sure that there are a few hours between your last glass of alcohol and getting into bed. This should help for a healthier night's sleep, meaning that in the morning you feel energised, and ready to take on the day.
As alcohol takes water from the body, try to remember that for every alcoholic drink you have, follow it with a glass of water. This will help to keep you hydrated and stop you from waking up in the night in need of a drink. This should really help to stop any nasty hangovers in the morning too!
Unwind before you sleep
If you find yourself reaching for a nightcap to unwind after a busy day, try to find new ways to relax. Make your bedroom an inviting space that you look forward to spending time in before you go to sleep. Why not invest in some new bedding to give your bed a bit of a spruce, swap the phone screen for a book, or have a mug of herbal tea whilst you get ready for bed?