The London Sleep Centre team have researched the effect alcohol has on our sleep and have revealed that not only does it upset our normal sleeping patterns – used too often it can cause insomnia.
While alcohol does send us off to sleep faster, it also stops us from having the most satisfying type of sleep, where dreams occur.
Dr Ebrahim, the medical director at the London Sleep Centre and co-author of the latest review says, “We should be very cautious about drinking on a regular basis. Sleep may be deeper to start with, but then becomes disrupted.”
The Research looked at over a hundred studies on the subject and looked at 20 in detail. These studies showed that alcohol affects our sleep in three ways:
1) It accelerates sleep onset – meaning we fall asleep quicker.
2) It causes non-snorers to snore.
3) It reduces the amount of time we spend in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
While the first effect may be tempting to those who struggle to sleep, the disruption in your sleep cycle will mean you’ll wake up feeling tired and unsatisfied.
The Sleep Council recommends we don’t over-indulge on either food or alcohol before bed as both severely affect our sleep cycle.
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