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January is over, which means those of you who were participating in Dry-January are free to go back to the pub and get yourself a well-earned pint or glass of wine. But before you binge on the booze, remember that drinking too much alcohol is not only bad for your body, but it also has serious side-effects on your sleeping.

True, we’ve always been told that a night cap is a great way to get us to sleep at night, and this is true to an extent. Alcohol does have a sedative effect on our bodies, so after a few you will begin to feel a tad drowsy and you get that intense desire to get home to your bed (perhaps stopping off for some chips or a kebab on the way), however, just because you’ve got yourself to sleep quicker, this doesn’t mean you’re getting a particularly restful sleep.

Alcohol Affects your sleepThe sedative effects of some alcohols will get you to sleep quicker and will actually promote a deeper sleep to start with. But this doesn’t last all night. Instead, this deep sleep effect will wear off quickly and means that you’ll be more likely to toss, turn and wake-up uncomfortable. Plus, the deepest and dreamy part of your sleep – REM – is adversely affected by alcohol as you won’t get as much of it as you need for a good night’s sleep. In fact, without adequate REM you’ll find it hard to remember, have difficulty learning and be pushed to concentrate on anything. And that’s without taking into account your hangover qualms.

Indeed, it’s thought that the average person will go through six or seven REM cycles while they’re sleeping. Yet, after a night boozing it’s likely that you’ll only get as little as one or two cycles.

Woman will particularly get a bad sleep after alcohol as, due to their bodies metabolising the alcohol quicker, woman will find themselves leaving that sedated deep sleep quicker than men. This means ladies will toss and turn whilst in bed longer during the night and wake even more exhausted than men.

Then you need to take into account that alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes the body to shed more fluids. This can be in one of two ways – both of which will disturb your sleep. That’s because a night on the booze will keep you awake from the need to visit the bathroom so often. Which can be quite an ordeal if you’re still feeling the booze-wooze. Then, of course, there’s the alcohol sweats. We all know how uncomfortable it can be to wake up in a pool of that cold, booze-smelling sweat. It can be incredibly hard to get back to sleep without getting changed or even stripping off the sheets.

When it comes to alcohol, moderation is key. If you’ve made it through January without a drop then you should defiantly bring in February with a tipple. Just keep in mind how much you are drinking, don’t mix it with stimulants like energy drinks and try to drink water in-between to help with your hydration.

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