​Say No To Nightcaps!

Many people wonder why they are not getting better sleep when they lay their head down on the pillow after having a few cocktails every night. If you regularly drink before bed, no matter how good your down bedding is, you won’t be getting the rest your body needs to function the next day.

Alcohol makes it almost impossible for you to get the sleep you need, as well as staying asleep. Some use alcohol as a way to get to sleep, up to 15% of people try this method. However, it can actually hurt your ability to get to sleep and stay in a resting state. Your body begins to build a tolerance within a few days of using alcohol as a sedative and you’ll begin to need a more and more alcohol for the same effects. Sure, drinking a large amount will put you out quick, but you are skipping the first stage of sleep, known as dream sleep. Then, once your body has burned through the alcohol, you’ll wake up often, whether to use the bathroom or just tossing and turning.

Besides waking frequently, you will be more prone to nightmares, headaches, insomnia, snoring, and night sweats. You are especially at risk if you have sleep apnea, as the muscles in the back of your throat become more relaxed which can result in extra-sever symptoms or even death. Men, rather than women, are typically at greater risk of having worse and longer symptoms of breathing problems after consuming alcohol.

Of course, to top it all off, there is the morning after. Since you do not receive the rest your body needs, you will wake up feeling exhausted. A hangover is your body’s way of letting you know you've overdone it. That headache and exhausted feeling is a combination or sleep deprivation and dehydration.

So if you are looking for tips to get better sleep, there’s really only one if you drink: say not to alcohol before bed. Once you’ve stopped drinking, comfortable down bedding can really make a difference in how well you sleep. If you are comfortable and not inebriated, you’ll sleep much better and actually wake up feeling refreshed!

Source: "Alcohol & Sleep: Nix the Nightcap?" WebMD. 6/20/16.