As we head into the New Year, for a lot of people the first month of the year usually brings about a vow to stay away from alcohol. According to Alcohol Change UK, over 4 million people took part in ‘Dry Jan’ in 2020, and if you’re joining in this year it could have more benefits than you think. While giving up alcohol for a period of time can positively impact your physical and mental health, save you money and even make you more intelligent (yes, you read that right), it can also have a huge effect on how well you sleep at night.
Your quality of deep sleep will be better
Alcohol can impair deep sleep quality, and make you likely to wake up feeling tired and fuzzy-headed after the previous night's indulgence. When you fall asleep after having a few drinks, your body skips the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage and you go straight into a deep sleep. As the alcohol wears off throughout the night, you’ll return to REM sleep which makes it much easier to wake up, meaning you often rouse after only a few hours of sleep feeling exhausted.
Your partner will get a better night’s sleep too
The effects on sleep don’t stop with you. Drinking alcohol makes you more likely to snore loudly as it relaxes the muscles in the body including in your throat, mouth and nose, stopping the air flowing smoothly; making it more likely to vibrate and in turn, making you snore more than usual. You’re also more likely to get up to go to the toilet in the night if you’ve drunk alcohol. So, by giving up alcohol for January, you’ll be treating you and your other half to a better night’s sleep too, it’s win win.
A good night’s sleep will set you up for an even better day
Whilst there are direct impacts on your sleep from drinking alcohol, think about the indirect effects too. If you’ve been drinking the night before, the chances of you getting up early and having a super productive day are probably significantly reduced. If you’ve set a New Year’s resolution to get active, that 6.30am gym class doesn’t feel anywhere near as achievable if you’ve got a sore head, does it? Reducing your intake or completely giving it up for January will mean you’ve got plenty more opportunity to smash those resolutions!