Alcohol can have many harmful effects on individuals who abuse it. Every year in the United States, Alcoholism affects millions of people in many negative ways. Alcoholism can cause mental problems, issues with personal relationships, and can be very damaging to a person’s health. However, a new study has revealed that drinking alcohol can have a dramatic impact on a very basic part of human life. Published by the Journal of Alcohol and Alcoholism, the study shows how drinking alcohol in excess can have very serious ramifications for a person’s sleeping patterns.
Getting a good night’s sleep is an incredibly important part of living a healthy lifestyle. The human body requires a certain amount of uninterrupted sleep every night so that it can function to its full capacity. Alcohol is especially adept at disrupting healthy sleep, and can cause an individual who regularly drinks before bed to feel lethargic and unmotivated during the day. This causes a vicious cycle where the individual feels as if they need to drink to fall asleep, when in reality the opposite is true. They need to break their habit and get back into the routine of falling asleep at night without the help of alcohol or other medications.
In the report, researchers used wristband devices to determine how long each of the 46 participants slept each night. They then compared those numbers to the amount of alcohol that was consumed by various participants. The participants were divided into two, separate groups. The first group was designated as the “low dose” group, who drank alcohol moderately before bed, and the “high dose” group, who drank more than the average amount of alcohol before bed. Compared to sober individuals, the low dose group got, on average, 47 less minutes of sleep every night. Interestingly, the high dose group got only 22 minutes less of sleep every night. The research concludes that even light drinking before going to sleep can have a serious effect on the amount of quality sleep an individual gets.
Lead author of the study, Pierce Geoghegan, of Trinity College remarks, “The findings add weight to the evidence that alcohol should not be used as a sleep aid. Drinking alcohol is known to disrupt sleep during the second half of the night due to ‘metabolic rebound’ effect, which means that alcohol may help you fall asleep, but as the alcohol leaves your system you’ll become more alert and at high risk of waking up.” For alcoholics, it is easy said than done to get off their routine of drinking before bed each night. If you or someone you know is struggling from an addiction to alcohol, and cannot get a good night’s sleep because of it, have them seek medical intervention from an alcohol rehab center. These centers will be able to assist a person slowly withdrawal from the effects of alcohol so that they will be able to start sleeping through the night once again.