The health consequences of drinking alcohol are endless. Not only is drinking alcohol associated with a higher risk of cancer, early signs of aging, and an overall shorter lifespan. One way alcohol affects your health is by affecting your sleep. Poor sleep can lead to increased health risks and affect your mood. At Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha, we believe a good night of sleep is essential for good overall health. Learn how alcohol affects your sleep and what you can do to improve your quality of sleep and overall health.
It Might Help You Fall Asleep Faster
If you suffer from insomnia you might think it’s a great idea to have a drink before going to bed because it can help you fall asleep faster. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. When you drink alcohol it has a sedative effect on the body. This is why you might feel drowsy in the middle of a happy hour. You might fall asleep fast when drinking but your quality of sleep goes downhill afterward.
It Leads to Restless Sleep
Once the sleepy effect from the alcohol wears off during the second half of your sleep, you will likely wake up and start feeling restless. You will toss and turn for the rest of the night until you get up. Alcohol also negatively affects the REM cycle which is important for boosting memory, learning, and concentration. When you wake up, you will notice your brain feels different and less productive the following day.
It Affects Women More
After a night of drinking, it’s common for women to sleep less than men, even if they’re equally drunk. This is because women metabolize alcohol much faster than men which means they reach the second stage of sleep before men. Since they reach this second stage (the restorative stage) of sleep sooner, they’re not getting as much of the quality sleep they need to function.
It Causes Snoring
Alcohol is also associated with snoring. When you drink alcohol, it helps your muscle relax. If you fall asleep and the tissue in the back of your throat also relaxes, guess what? You’re going to snore. The snoring is caused by the obstruction in your airway. Alcohol also causes a dry throat from dehydration which can contribute to snoring louder than usual.