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Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Sleep


Alcohol can be dangerous to your health in general. See the negative effects of alcohol on your sleep and how it affects your life in general

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									Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Sleep

    Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Sleep
                                         Diligence Eke

Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Sleep

Alcohol is a popular substance consumed by millions of people around the world, children and adults
alike. It is highly abused, but also widely used as a sleep aid. However, alcohol worsens sleep problems.

When consumed by normal individuals, alcohol rapidly induces sleep. It increases non-REM sleep and
reduces REM sleep during the first part of the night. REM means rapid eye movement, describing a stage
of sleep during which the muscles of the eyeballs are in constant motion behind the eyelids. People
woken at this stage of sleep generally report that they were dreaming at that time. Hence, REM is the
most important stage of sleep. However, for most people who have a few bottles before going to bed,
alcohol is rapidly metabolized, resulting in low blood concentration of alcohol just before the second
part of the night. This often results in withdrawal symptoms later on, including multiple awakenings, and
shallow sleep.

Low concentration of alcohol in the body improves total sleep time and reduces unwanted awakenings
during the night. However, anything above this level of alcohol concentration, that is, from moderate to
high, is annoyingly disruptive to good sleep and all its restorative benefits. Hence, although alcohol
might be used to induce sleep, as most drinkers can testify, it negatively affects sleep in the second part
of the night.

This can become a bad cycle. The alcoholic thinks that alcohol makes him sleep and so takes some more,
only to find himself waking up many times at night, and also that it now takes an awful lot of time for
sleep to come at night. He doesn’t like this but also doesn’t know why it’s happening in the first place.
He then thinks more alcohol is the solution, leading to chronic reliance on alcohol.

Therefore, insomnia and chronic alcoholism are interwoven. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of
sleep disorders, but alcohol exacerbates the condition. Again, sleep deprivation causes fatigue and
headache, and all this can be tied to alcoholism.

Alcohol has many other dangerous effects on the body. Excessive drinking reduces the body’s sensitivity
to insulin, which in the long or short run increases blood glucose concentration, causing type II diabetes.
Alcohol can cause liver disorders, brain damage, and even cancer. Generally, alcohol negatively affects
one’s emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing.

For people having any of these problems associated to alcohol consumption, professional help is
advised. However, there are tips all over the internet on how to get more quality sleep, and also how to
quit drinking.

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