Does alcohol help you sleep?

It's tempting to think that a glass or two of alcohol before bed will help you to relax and fall asleep quickly. Although it might help you feel drowsy, alcohol will also most likely prevent you from having a good night’s sleep later on.

The battle of sleep rhythms - Deep sleep called 'delta activity' allows for memory formation and learning. But when you drink alcohol 'alpha activity' which doesn’t usually happen during sleep is also turned on. These two activities wouldn’t normally happen at the same time and so as they compete together they can prevent proper restorative sleep.

Interrupting your  circadian rhythm - It's common to wake up in the middle of the night after drinking. Alcohol may increase production of the chemicals in the body that trigger sleepiness so you fall asleep faster but then also subside faster making you more likely to wake up before you’ve had a proper night’s sleep.

Blocking REM sleep - With less of the most restorative type of sleep you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.

Aggravating breathing problems - Alcohol causes your whole body to relax, including the muscles in your throat which will make you more prone to snoring and sleep apnea. Not good news for your partner either!

Extra toilet trips - Unfortunately, alcohol is a diuretic which means you will be likely to need to go more in the middle of the night!

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