Why You Shouldn't Turn To Alcohol to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Why You Shouldn't Turn To Alcohol to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

1 in 7 Adults Have Turned To Drinking Alcohol to Help Them Get a Good Night’s Sleep

In a recent survey conducted by the Sleep Charity it has been revealed that a staggering nine in ten adults are experiencing problems with their sleep and millions are suffering in silence with undiagnosed sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnoea.  What is arguably more concerning is that 13% of those have turned to alcohol in the hope they can get a better night’s sleep!

The lack of knowledge or professional help sought is leading people to take misguided steps, such as resorting to alcohol late at night in order to fall asleep. Actions that may risk exacerbating their sleep issues further and putting their health at risk.

While some people find that drinking alcohol helps them fall asleep more easily, alcohol ultimately has a negative impact on sleep, which in turn has a negative impact on overall health.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Sleep Cycle?

Despite the misconception that alcohol aids sleep, research reveals its detrimental impact, with just one drink decreasing sleep quality by 10%, and multiple drinks exacerbating the decline significantly (by over 40%).  As alcohol is consumed it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream until it can be metabolised by the liver at the rate of about one drink per hour.

Now for the sleep science part. When you go to bed with alcohol in your system, a number of things happen to your sleep cycle.  You’re likely to experience more deep sleep, which sounds like a good thing until you realise that means less REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement Sleep), which is important for waking up refreshed and alert. Then once the alcohol has been metabolised you’re likely to experience more of the beginning of the sleep cycle which is the lightest part of the sleep cycle, resulting in more frequent wakings and fragmented, low-quality sleep.

So while an alcoholic nightcap may induce initial drowsiness and remove the struggle of falling asleep, it disrupts the sleep cycles and does little to help you fully rest and recover for the day ahead.

Image 1: the Alcohol/Sleep Cycle

Worse still, with the day ahead un uphill struggle as you fight off fatigue and exhaustion, many turn to an afternoon pick-me-up consisting of a cup of coffee with a large dose of caffeine.  Whilst this seems like the perfect answer at the time, just one cup of coffee consumed within 6 hours of going to bed is enough to disturb sleep and so the sleep struggle continues in this relentless cycle as individuals struggle to manage their sleep with a mix of alcohol and coffee!


The perfect nightcap

Alcohol is not the answer if someone is having a drink in order to improve their sleep.  However, the perfect ‘night cap’ does exist, with Ten PM’s Night Drink. This natural Hot Chocolate or Chai Latte is the perfect swap for anyone wanting a drink to lull them into a deep sleep.  Containing a powerful blend of 6 vitamins, minerals and adaptogens designed to help you relax and fall asleep faster and deeper.

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