Studies report that around 20% of the adult population relies on alcohol as a regular tool to assist them in falling asleep. While this seems like a high number, most of these people are drinking a socially acceptable amount of 2-3 beverages per night. While it’s true that alcohol does indeed make us fall asleep faster, after that moment it’s hurting us far more than helping.
Alcohol hinders us from getting to our deepest sleep, or else activates both a deep sleep and stimulates your brain at the same time, causing a restless night. Typically, though, alcohol blocks REM sleep, which is considered the most restorative sleep we go into at night and interrupts our circadian rhythm, causing us to wake up more.
If you already have problems with your breathing at night, drinking is sure to exacerbate this. Alcohol causes the muscles in the body to relax, including the throat muscles- causing us to snore more and can worsen sleep apnea. Considering the fact that alcohol already causes poor liver function, leaky gut and worsens (or may be a contributing cause of) depression, sleep is one more thing that we can’t sacrifice.
Obviously in our culture people are still going to drink. Many people enjoy it and it’s a huge part of our socialization. So, is there a good time to drink alcohol? Studies show that the best time to have a drink, in regards to our sleep health, is from early to middle evening. That’s right, happy hour! So feel free to go grab a drink with your friends or co-workers, just don’t keep it going too late and you’ll definitely notice a difference in your sleep and overall health!