After a long party night and after consuming several alcoholic beverages most people are looking forward to go to bed. The hours past were tiresome and the alcohol further contributed to exhaustion and tiredness. But, when the alarm goes off the next day only few are feeling fit and well rested. Alcohol makes falling asleep easier but alcohol clearly disturbs the course of the sleeping stages.
Alcohol eases falling asleep
Every one of us knows that falling asleep after a couple of beers or wine is easy. Often, you feel too tired to brood. But, several studies advise against regular consummation of alcohol to support falling asleep. Although it makes tired it significantly disturbs sleep, especially in the second half of the night.
Disturbed chronology of the sleeping stages
Already a couple of beers, wine, mixed drinks or few hard liquor influence our central nervous system. And this disturbs the sleeping stages. After the phase of falling asleep, normally a short phase of REM-sleep follows. But, after consuming too much alcohol you enter some kind of comatose deep sleep. Then, during the second half of the night follows restless REM-sleep instead of phases of deep sleep. This may lead to restless dreams, sweating, abruptly awakening and going back to sleep might become difficult.
Increased urge to urinate
Furthermore, the intake of a larger quantity of alcohol increases the urge to urinate. Alcohol is blocking hormones that are responsible for water storage and the body is stimulated to pass water. And as a further consequence you become thirsty.
Alcohol increases your heart frequency and this in turn increases transpiration of your body.
Impairment of respiration
Consumed in a higher dose, alcohol might impair breathing. Since alcohol relaxes the musculature people who normally don’t snore might become snorers. The soft palate and the upper airways are significantly more relaxed than usual and this might cause snoring. For people who are already suffering under sleep apnoea it might even become dangerous. Due to the influence of alcohol the breathing stops might increase.
Which amount of alcohol influences the sleep strongly depends on individual factors like age, gender or physical condition. But, often two or three alcoholic beverages are enough to negatively influence a healthy sleeping structure.
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