How Drinking Less Alcohol Can Improve the Size of Your Brain

While certain people are natural moderators who never drink more than the suggested amount, the truth is, most people who drink consistently will eventually need to re-evaluate the way they are drinking. There shouldn’t be shame or stigma about wanting to slow down or stop drinking because needing to do so isn’t the exception; it’s the rule. But if you are more than a “one and done” drinker, or are worried that alcohol how to fall asleep without alcohol is affecting your well-being and health, it’s worth looking at how it is affecting you. The gut and its microbiome are often referred to as the body’s second brain, and operate under powerful circadian rhythm activity. The circadian disruption that can result from alcohol consumption contributes to leaky gut syndrome, according to research. ‘Alcohol at lower doses has less of a disruptive effect on sleep,’ she says.

Alcohol further increases the effects of sleep apnea by relaxing the muscles in the throat, collapsing the upper airway and lowering oxygen levels. This not only worsens pre-existing sleep apnea but may also lead to episodes of sleep apnea in individuals who previously did not experience it. Alcohol is classified as a central nervous system depressant, meaning it slows down brain activity. While “relaxed” may sound appealing, alcohol has also been shown to negatively affect sleep and other physiological processes that occur during sleep.

How Does Alcohol Impact Sleep?

However, rapid eye movement sleep (REM) is also a vital part of the sleep cycle, since it aids in mental restoration. It’s true that alcohol acts like a sedative but it disrupts your sleep by creating an imbalance between SWS and REM sleep (sleep cycle stages), thus decreasing sleep quality and perpetuating sleep deprivation as a result. Research shows that even late afternoon drinking with a delay of 6 hours before bedtime can disrupt sleep. This is further supported by research that indicates that alcohol has a relatively long-lasting change in circadian rhythm and sleep regulations. However, as a general rule for the odd occasional drink, stick to having a drink with a gap of at least 4-5 hours before bedtime. While alcohol consumption may help someone fall asleep, there is a reduction in sleep quality compared with sleep without alcohol.

needing alcohol to sleep

This may result in the person verbally or physically acting out their dreams, which may cause abnormal behaviors such as kicking, flailing, jumping or yelling during sleep. Some people may resort to drinking alcohol as a sleep aid or agent that initiates sleep. Consuming two servings of alcohol per day for men and one serving for women can reduce sleep quality by 9.3%. However, even small amounts of alcohol can have noticeable effects in some people.

Sedative effects of alcohol

Almond milk is a creamy, nutty alternative to cow’s milk that is made by blending almonds with water and then straining the pulp. Each of the ingredients in golden milk is generally considered safe. Still, individuals taking certain medications, including blood thinners and drugs to reduce stomach acid and manage diabetes, should exercise caution with turmeric and ginger (63, 64). Similarly to ashwagandha, the root of the valerian plant is used as a medicinal herb that’s known to promote sleep and relieve insomnia (28). Ashwagandha has a reputation for being a powerful medicinal plant. A good night’s rest is often overlooked as an important component of health.

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Posted: Mon, 24 Apr 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

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