Does alcohol cause sleepless nights?

The link between alcohol consumption and insomnia

Many people think that drinking alcohol is sleep-inducing. Red wine would make you drowsy. And when people talk about a nightcap, it usually isn't about a piece of clothing. But drinking alcohol does not appear to be at all conducive to a good night's sleep.

Tolerance after long-term use and the effect this has on your brain ensures that your sleep pattern is completely disrupted within a relatively short time.

Liquor is a narcotic that many people use in the evening to relax and help them fall asleep. This may work initially, but tolerance quickly requires more alcohol to induce the same sleepiness.

What is a normal sleeping pattern

Sleep actually always consists of a cycle that repeats itself several times a night. During a typical night, you go through a 4- to 6-minute sleep cycle about 60 to 90 times.

This cycle consists of several phases:

  • The falling asleep phase – your eyelids become heavier, but you still wake up easily. This phase averages about 5 minutes.
  • Light sleep – in this state your body temperature drops, your muscles relax, and your brain activity, heart rate and breathing slow down. This phase lasts an average of 30 minutes. Have you ever felt like you haven't slept after a short nap? Then you probably slept lightly.
  • Deep sleep – during this phase it is more difficult to wake up. Deep sleep is crucial for recovering, recovering and growing. There is also evidence that this stage contributes to improved memory and creativity. This phase is on average 40 minutes.
  • REM sleep – your brain becomes more active again and the body is completely silent except for the eyes and breathing muscles. Most people dream during this phase. In addition, REM sleep contributes to the development and improvement of cognitive skills such as memory, learning and creativity. During the night, REM sleep phases become longer: from a few minutes to an hour.

Not everyone has the same sleep needs. That mainly depends on your age. Factors such as stress and an unhealthy lifestyle can cause insomnia. A narcotic such as alcohol may seem like a solution, but in the end the problem is actually made worse.

What Happens If You Drink Alcohol Before Sleeping

Drinking can make you feel sleepy, so you fall asleep quickly. Heavy drinkers, for example, fall asleep quickly, but because the sleep phases are disrupted, the body cannot rest. For example, alcohol causes chronic fatigue: alcohol is consumed to fall asleep and that causes you to sleep less and less.

Treatment of insomnia and alcohol abuse

Alcohol and insomnia often occur together and can be treated simultaneously. First it is necessary to break your fixed patterns. In addition to treatment for addiction, we pay attention to your diet and your well-being. It is also important to structure your life and to pay attention to good sleep hygiene.

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