The UK government has issued
guidelines on alcohol and has cut recommended drinking limits to
say there is no such thing as a safe level of drinking. Research by
Silentnight shows a link between drinking and our
sleep. 


man cant sleep


We have conducted some further research, in
collaboration with Leeds University sleep expert, Dr Anna Weighall
who warns us of the nation's bedtime habits when it comes to
drinking. 


Research by Leeds University, in conjunction with
Silentnight shows 38% of people admit to drinking alcohol at least
once a week to aid their sleep, with almost 1 in 10 doing this
regularly.


The research also found that drinking to help with
sleep is more common in those who work longer hours and report high
levels of job stress. Lab-based studies show that consuming alcohol
impairs sleep quality, most likely because it affects the
regulation of blood glucose during the night, so drinking will only
serve to make sleep problems worse for people who can't sleep.


Dr
Nerina
, our resident sleep expert, says
"For centuries, humans have relied on alcohol as a relaxant to ease
our passage into sleep. I enjoy a glass of wine as much the next
person but from a psychological perspective any alcohol will effect
your sleep."


Drinking close to bedtime interferes a number of
normal sleep processes. The Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep stage is
missed as you go straight into a deep sleep. As the alcohol wears
off you will return to REM sleep making it much easier to wake up,
meaning you often rouse after only a few hours sleep feeling
exhausted.


Apart from low quality of sleep there are other
issues. How to stop snoring? Alcohol makes you more likely to snore
loudly as it relaxes the muscles in the body including the tissue
in your throat, mouth and nose, stopping the air flowing smoothly;
making it more likely to vibrate and therefore snore. Also if you
drink a lot, you may have to get up in the night to go to the
toilet. And it's not just the liquid you've drunk that you'll be
getting rid of, alcohol is a diuretic, which means it encourages
the body to lose extra fluid though sweat too, making you
dehydrated.


For anyone with ongoing issues sleeping, such as
insomnia, alcohol is best to be completely avoided before bed
advises Dr Nerina, "If your insomnia has become severe and you are
trying to rebuild your connection with sleep, it would be advisable
to steer clear of alcohol until the improvements to your sleep have
become well established." 


The advice from drinkaware.co.uk is if you are drinking,
try and avoid it too close to bedtime. Give your body time to
process the alcohol before sleep. On average it takes an hour per
unit.


Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35255384