Have you ever returned from a night out and wondered why you can’t seem to fall asleep? Drinking before going to bed can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. The food website Spoon University tells you why:
1. Not all of the alcohol has been metabolized in your body. It typically takes about an hour for the alcohol to be completely digested. If you go to bed immediately after you stop drinking, the alcohol is most likely still in your system and hasn’t been fully digested yet. The alcohol in your system wants you to keep partying, but your body wants to sleep.
2. Drinking before bed reduces REM sleep. Disruptions in REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and rob you of much needed sleep. It’s important to get a restful night’s sleep, and alcohol limits your ability to do that. Disruptions in REM sleep may also cause you to be less productive the next day, so if you plan on tackling a bunch of tasks the morning after a night out, think again.
3. More likely to sleep walk. It’s okay to sleep walk occasionally. However, sleepwalking on a regular basis can be problematic and somewhat dangerous. Think of all of the dangerous things in your home that you could encounter while sleepwalking.
4. More likely to sleep talk. Similar to sleepwalking, sleep talking is another effect of consuming alcohol before you go to bed. While it isn’t necessarily dangerous, talking in your sleep can cause you to say things that you might not have wanted to share with the world.
5. More likely to have problems with your memory. If you consume an excess amount of alcohol before you go to bed, you can also have problems with your long-term memory. Alcohol makes you forget things that happened throughout the night, but it can also lead to long-term memory issues.
6. Alcohol is a diuretic. Alcohol causes your body to lose extra fluid through sweat too, making you dehydrated. This can lead to other negative side effects like feeling light-headed and lethargic. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it causes you to wake up in the middle of the night and have to go to the bathroom. Or you may wake up in the morning and realize you didn’t quite make it to the bathroom (whoops), leading alcohol to negatively affect your kidneys in the long run.
7. You spend more time awake. Alcohol can prevent you from having a restful night’s sleep. You spend the night tossing and turning, without really getting the sleep you need. Alcohol messes with your brain and therefore can keep you awake all night , preventing you from getting a full night’s sleep.
8. You have fewer dreams. Alcohol prevents you from entering into a deep sleep, which is when most dreams are formulated. So don’t bank on any great dreams.
9. You have an elevated heart rate. Alcohol makes the peripheral blood vessels relax to allow more blood to flow through the skin and tissues. Therefore, in order to maintain blood flow to the organs, the heart rate increases. An increased heart rate is what happens when you exercise, and you wouldn’t be asleep for that.