Do you find yourself reaching for a nightcap prior to bedtime, in the hope of achieving better sleep?
Before you reach, consider a few ways that the consumption of alcohol in the evening impacts sleep:
- During the first half of sleep an individual will seem to sleep more soundly with few disturbances, but will not get into the restorative phase of sleep where the body is repaired, healed, and growth hormone is made.
- During the second half of sleep an individual will wake more frequently, in comparison with a night on which no alcohol was consumed prior to sleep.
- Growth hormone, which is predominantly secreted in the first half of the night, is suppressed, which has an adverse effect on body composition, strength, sensation of well-being, and cognitive clarity.
- Subsequent daytime alertness and performance are negatively affected, as a result of alcohol’s interruption of normal sleep cycles, as well as its direct toxicity to the brain cells.
- As alcohol is a diuretic, restroom trips increase and are an additional source of sleep disruption.
If high quality sleep is elusive for you, I encourage you to reach out to Dr. McCallen or me for assistance, as alcohol leads you further away from restorative sleep.