Want a Good Night’s Sleep? Don’t Drink!

We’ve all been there before.  You have two or three glasses of wine after a heavy dinner.  A good time turns into extreme drowsiness.  You feel as if you could go to sleep and sleep forever.  You do fall asleep pretty quick, but then you either wake up in the middle of the night not being able to go back to sleep, or you manage to stay asleep but the next day you feel as if you haven’t sleep at all.

There’s a real good explanation for this.  A new study in the medical community shows that alcohol does help you to fall asleep quicker but it reduces rapid eye movement (REM).  REM is the deep sleep you achieve about 90 minutes after you fall asleep.  It’s the sleep where you dream and where your brain restores itself.

How much is too much for a lousy night of sleep?

It seems like 1-2 drinks has a minimal effect but any more after that only disrupts the sleep more as you drink more.

Because alcohol does get you to sleep faster, people often think or rely on it as a sleep aid.  Researchers warn that you should not rely on alcohol for this.  It will rob you of the much needed deep sleep that helps you feel refreshed the next day.

If you are having trouble sleeping you should try these things first.

  • Establish a sleep time and awake time routine.  Your body has an internal clock and keeping to this schedule will help your body get and stay in this routine.
  • Don’t consume alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine at night.  If possible try to cut them out all together and you’ll be surprised at how sound you will sleep.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise.  Wear your body out with some good ole’ running, working out, etc.  This will really help you get some zzz’s
  • Try using clean sheets.  It’s amazing how comfortable freshly washed and dried sheets are.
  • Don’t do work in your bedroom.  Keep the bedroom for sleeping and relaxing only.
  • Try reading a book.  This can get you in a relaxed state.

If you’ve tried all these things and still can’t fall asleep, then try seeing a professional doctor about your issues.

If you live in the Nashville, TN area and need a doctor for sleep or other health problems, feel free to contact our office for an appointment.

Here’s to Your Health

Dr. K Bennett