The urge to depend on alcohol can strike addicts at any time. The end of the day is one example of when people might use alcohol as a sedative. Alcohol and sleep have a delicate relationship, and if you’re not careful, abusing it can result in unhealthy habits and unreliable sleep.
While it is normal to crave an occasional drink, making it a daily habit can undermine your health and well-being. Because blood alcohol interferes with and degrades the restorative effects of sleep, drinking alcohol can also have a negative impact on sleep.
Here is some advice on how to get a better night’s sleep without drinking, as well as the effects of drinking alcohol before bed on your body.
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The Relationship Between Alcohol and Sleep
Although drinking alcohol can initially make you feel sleepy, this type of intoxicated doze is not very productive. The efficiency of memory and learning formation decreases as brain activity in the delta pattern slows. At the same time, Alpha Pattern brain activity increases, which is unusual for sleep. These conflicting mental processes work together to reduce the effectiveness of sleep.
Alcohol has a number of harmful effects on sleep. Inhibiting rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is one of the most important of these. You go through four distinct stages of sleep while you’re sleeping, each of which is indicated by a different kind of brain wave. The most crucial stage for getting a good night’s sleep and waking up fully rested and revitalized is REM sleep. Alcohol inhibits the body’s ability to experience REM sleep, causing fatigue after even a long period of sleep.
The muscles in the back of your throat and the tongue are among those that are more prone to relaxation while you sleep as a result of alcohol. The condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which the tongue relaxes while you sleep and blocks your airway, may result from this or become worse as a result. The inability to breathe briefly awakens you so that you can take a breath, but you won’t be aware that you are awake. The end result is that you can wake up dozens or even hundreds of times during the night and not realize it, interrupting your natural sleep cycle.
The two main negative effects of alcohol on sleep are the suppression of REM sleep and OSA, but it can also dehydrate you, raise your body temperature, and make you urinate more frequently, all of which can make it hard to fall asleep.
How to Sleep Without Alcohol: 6 Creative Ways
There are several ways to fall asleep without using alcohol, which is good news for those who have decided to stop drinking. With the aid of these interventions, you can develop healthy sleep habits and replace the function that alcohol previously served in helping you fall asleep.
Alternative Beverage: Tea Or Sparkling Water
Alcohol not only has a chemical effect that induces sleep, but it can also become part of a bedtime routine, making it even harder to sleep when the habit of drinking alcohol before bedtime is stopped. You can fall asleep without changing your bedtime routine by using an alternative beverage, like chamomile tea.
For those who drink frequently, the oral fixation caused by sipping a liquid can be problematic. It can be very effective to replace that with sparkling water, which replicates the bubbles in beer, or tea. Decaffeinated tea in particular has a calming effect and can help you unwind without making you jittery.
You can improve your ability to fall asleep by improving your present-moment awareness and relaxation through meditation on its own or as a component of a meditative yoga practice. The controlled, measured breathing associated with meditation or yoga promotes relaxation and reduces stress, enhancing sleep quality.
Your pores can open and your senses can be stimulated by hot water applied to your skin. It also increases blood flow and helps your muscles relax. Consider adding some bubbles to the bath to create a spa-like experience rather than popping the cork. And Afterwards, you can enhance your relaxation with some essential oils to help sleep. The next morning, you might not feel groggy but rather joyful.
Chat With Your Partner
You can share your day’s stresses with friends, family, and even support groups. You can share a few laughs and even discover some points of agreement with your fellow man who is dealing with difficulties in life. Oftentimes, breaking a lifelong habit can be achieved via the word of a trusted friend or mentor.
Let You Be Busy
Many people in recovery from substance abuse concur that keeping busy is essential. You should aim to fill your day with enough activity to fill your day and essentially use all your energy, physically and mentally, to the point where your night is reserved for nothing but sleep.
Your ability to fall asleep quickly will improve if you avoid stimulation before bed. Examples of stimulation may vary from one person to another, but avoiding caffeine before bed and limiting screen time6 in the hour prior to going to sleep are recommended. Additionally, it’s a good idea to avoid stressful activities right before bed or to make an effort to manage any stress you may be feeling.
While you may think that alcohol can help you fall asleep, the facts show that alcohol-induced sleep is far from healthy. Drinking alcohol before bedtime can cause restless and unsettled sleep and reduce the duration of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The biological clock in your body can be thrown off by even a small amount of alcohol before bed. To achieve successful results, make use of the six strategies listed above.
How Much Alcohol Does It Take to Affect Sleep?
Alcohol can keep you up at any level, but the more you drink, the worse your sleep will be. According to one study, drinking heavily and moderately significantly affected sleep.
How Long Before Bed Should I Stop Drinking?
When using alcohol, the longer you go without it before going to bed, the better your sleep will be. One study on the topic recommends abstaining from alcohol six or more hours11 before going to sleep for the best results.