There are some valuable bits of ‘brief advice’ that are more likely to resonate with all risky drinkers who engage. The negative effects of alcohol on sleep is surely one of those because everyone needs sleep and everyone wants to sleep well. I often speak to people who have cut down on their alcohol use, and improved sleep is probably what I hear volunteered most often as a positive outcome.
So whilst many risky drinkers might believe alcohol ‘helps’ them to sleep, they’re unaware the quality of the sleep is affected and so is less regenerating – even if they slept for as long. Alcohol reduces the capacity for deep re-energising sleep because as blood alcohol level declines, the body becomes more alert (known as the “metabolic rebound” effect). There must be something about waking up to go to the toilet too!
A recent study has found that even moderate consumption disrupts sleep. This and the fact that there seemed to be less of an impact on lost sleep time amongst heavier drinkers might negate the value of this particular benefit. Either way, alcohol isn’t good for the deep sleep we need. I know that the best shot I have of feeling fresh and well rested is to have an alcohol-free night – which is why I always aim for that on a school night!