TO SLEEP PERCHANCE TO DREAM
3 February 2021 — DrinkCoach
DrinkCoach asked Will, Alcohol Advisor from the West Sussex Wellbeing Team to document his new year’s resolution to cut back on alcohol. Read his series of blogs throughout Dry January
“To sleep perchance to dream” or giving up the booze to have a better snooze.
I cut the quote to the title of this blog short as it seemed a bit morbid. What I wanted to write about today was how much better I am sleeping now that I have laid off the booze. I thought I was sleeping relatively well. It turns out I was not. I’ll go through the problems I was having that I had incorrectly put down to just getting old.
My bladder: still up for the job. You will wake up in the night if you drink large quantities of liquid directly before going to bed. This will disrupt your sleep and possibly give you anxiety dreams about wetting yourself at school whilst wearing pyjamas… Alcohol seriously affects the architecture of our sleep.
When we sleep we go through various stages and alcohol impacts on the balance of those stages. Alcohol reduces the amount of time we spend in the REM sleep, the stage of sleep where we dream. When we have the right balance of sleep we wake up feeling refreshed.
Alcohol is a diuretic which means that it makes us go to the toilet a lot! In turn this leads us to being dehydrated. Dehydration is the leading cause of early morning awakening. Why do I keep waking up at 4.30 every morning, I’m knackered? Well your body needs you to replace all the water that it has lost through 3 toilet trips in the night.
Cue a day of feeling tired and grumpy, and then the anxiety of “I really need to get a good night’s sleep tonight.” What helps me get to sleep… red wine… WRONG. Alcohol maybe soporific but in no way does it lead to a good refreshing sleep.
Break the cycle, reclaim your dreams, say no to the nightcap.
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