Despite being a depressant that often causes tiredness, alcohol can significantly impact your sleep quality, especially when you suffer from sleep apnea. Here’s what you need to know about your cocktails and sleep.
Impact of Alcohol on Sleep
While it may seem like drinking before bed can help you relax and drift off to sleep more quickly, it disrupts the body’s normal sleep cycle. Booze can reduce your REM sleep, which is the most restorative type of sleep. It can also cause more frequent awakenings during the night, which can lead to feeling tired and unrested the next day. It’s recommended to avoid alcohol four hours before bed to get a good night’s rest.
How Much Is Too Much?
The most crucial factor in how alcohol affects your sleep is how much you consume. One study, which analyzed how much you drink concerning rest, found this:
- Less than two servings per day for men or one serving per day for women decreased sleep quality by 9.3%.
- Two servings per day for men or one serving per day for women decreased sleep quality by 24%.
- More than two servings per day for men or one serving per day for women decreased sleep quality by 39.2%.
Sleep Problems Caused by Booze
Alcohol can cause various sleep problems, from insomnia to interrupted sleep and sleep apnea. Due to the disruption cocktails cause in REM sleep, insomnia is common after consuming too much. Drinking too much can also lead to nightmares and sleepwalking, disrupting sleep. These effects can reduce the feeling of being refreshed and alert the following day, along with the dehydrating effect of cocktails. More severely, research suggests that overconsumption can increase the risk of sleep apnea by 25%.
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