Alcohol May Impair Sleep, Study Says

A study shows that an extra drink may be the reason you wake up in the middle of the night
Staff Writer


Bad news for those who like that little glass…or two…or three of wine before bed

Bad news for those who like that glass of wine (orr two…or three) before bed: it may actually be ruining your sleep.

While alcohol may be helpful for falling asleep, a study by Canadian and British researchers found that it’s actually worse for staying asleep, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. And, if you’re kicking back more than your fair share of cocktails, you're ruining your chances even more for a good night of sleep. The more you drink, the worse it is for staying asleep and the less time you spend in REM sleep.

The study took 500 volunteers and gave them various levels of alcohol: One to two drinks was a low dose of alcohol, moderate was three to four drinks, and more than four drinks was a high dose. Then the volunteers went to sleep 15 to 30 minutes following their last drink. Each one of the volunteers fell asleep more quickly than they normally would, no matter the amount of alcohol they ingested, but the real results came later in the night when the volunteers’ bodies were metabolizing the alcohol. Many participants woke up more frequently and spent less time in a deep sleep than they normally would, which left many more tired in the morning. Add that to a likely hangover and you may have your answer as to why Sunday mornings may be a little rough. 

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