Alcohol and Sleep
I know I am going to lose a lot of friends on this one.
I just want you to know that I really have your best interest in mind. This is just for informational purposes.
Alcohol has a profound impact on sleep, with effects dependent on acute versus chronic use and dependence.
So many of us use caffeine to get us going at the start of our shift, then switch to alcohol to help wind us down. This may very well be a topic that we simply don’t discuss. We often brag about our dependence on caffeine laden beverages, but we rarely see post bragging about drinking several glasses of wine to help us wind down in the evening.
While alcohol does have a sedative effect, it actually impairs certain parts of the sleep cycle, most notably the REM or rapid eye movement stage.
In other words, it further exacerbates disruption to your circadian rhythms, in addition to the shift work itself.
Even a moderate dose of alcohol may reduce production of the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin, by 20%.
This may not sound a lot but, when combined with light from excessive screen time, its affect on sleep-onset and sleep-maintenance can be enormous.
Alcohol is also a “liver loader” meaning it has to break down the alcohol and remove it from the body as it’s a toxic substance.
This can further disrupt your sleep, especially around 1-3am when the liver is usually most active.
I’m not suggesting that you quit alcohol altogether, it’s important to be very strategic when it comes to timing. In other words, stop drinking at least 3-hours prior to bed to allow your liver time to process it.
Happy New Years Everyone!!! Enjoy your drinks to bring in the new year. I found this little drink that I thought some of you might enjoy.
My first thought “this must have been invented by a teacher!!”