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Alcohol Intake Affects Your Sleep

Image from Medical News Today.

Having a couple of drinks before bed may not seem like much, but a 2018 study found that even one drink can compromise the quality of your sleep. 

A group of researchers in Finland found that even small amounts of alcohol can alter the quality and amount of sleep a person gets per night.

Having a drink before bed, the study found, "decreased the physiological recovery that sleep normally provides by 9.3 percent."

When the participants increased their alcohol intake, the quality of their sleep dropped by 24 percent. High alcohol intake reduced participants' sleep by as much as 39.2 percent.

"These results were similar for men and women, and alcohol consumption affected sedentary and active people alike," said an overview of the study. "Interestingly, the harmful effects of alcohol were more pronounced among young people compared with seniors."

This article is particularly relevant to those who are struggling with a mental illness who often have sleep difficulty. It is not a good idea to try to remedy that sleep issue with alcohol usage. Alcohol may initially cause a person to fall asleep but when that person’s blood alcohol drops that person becomes more and more alert.

Alcohol is known to interfere with the brain’s sleep architecture. Some of the worst sleepers I’ve seen in my practice are people who have been drinking alcohol heavily for years. This research on even small amounts of alcohol causing problems is sobering. No pun intended!

So you might want to think twice before reaching for that night cap!

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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