A lot of people like to have a glass of wine with dinner or a beer before bed, but apparently that is not really great for your sleep schedule. Even though alcohol can leave you feeling sleepy, going to bed after a few drinks will negatively affect the quality of your sleep. Here are some things you should know about drinking before bed.
"Initially you might feel sleepy and fall asleep easily, but you end up awakening more often in the middle of the night and the alcohol has a disruptive effect on sleep," Timothy Roehrs, Director of research at the Sleep Disorders and Research Center of Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital
Even though it makes you sleep, you will sleep poorly
While you might fall asleep faster, the alcohol in your system will suppress the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The REM stage is important because it is the lightest stage of sleep and is when you dream. It actually has an important job as well: That is when your brain turns your short term memories into long term memories.
You won't get the same quality sleep you should get
Because your body isn't entering the REM stage, you will be stuck in the Slow Wave Sleep stage. While this stage normally is the restorative stage, after drinking it doesn't do its job very well which is why you tend to be drowsy, irritable and can get a headache.
Your body will be waking up a lot
While you sleep, you body is still hard at work trying to metabolize the alcohol. Your body is trying to get back it its normal level, so when it manages to get there it tends to kick the REM sleep into overdrive. The issue is REM sleep is when you are most likely to be woken up.
How do you avoid this situation? Limit your alcohol to 2 drink
After two drinks (depending on your size) your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) raises past the 0.04 that will begin to affect sleep. So if you stay under that level before bed you should be able to sleep just fine.
Have a snack!
The food will help your body absorb the alcohol slower which will lower your BAC
Happy Hour anyone?
If you drink earlier, your body can metabolize the alcohol before you need to go to bed!
Enjoy your drinks responsibly!