We get it, you had a hard, long week and want nothing more than to crack open a cold one with your friends, or head out to the bar for some cocktails.
Recent statistics show that Australians' annual alcohol consumption is around 9.3 litres, with young adults drinking the most amount in one sitting. It’s obvious that we love a good drink and it’s become a vital part of our culture
Alcohol itself isn't that bad for you. Some experts believe that moderate drinking reduces the risk of heart disease and even lowers chances of incurring diabetes. However, moderation is the keyword here.
Let's be honest, most of us don't pay much attention to long term side effects of excessive alcohol consumption. What we dread is waking up the morning after, where you start to regret those several rounds of drinks. We’ve all been there the day after with an awful hangover, splitting headache and wishing you could stay in bed all day. .
We could go on about the health effects of alcohol, but we’ll leave that to the medical experts. What we want to look at is how to have a normal day after heavy drinking and not spend it all in bed.
While alcohol is known to have sedative effects, this drowsiness does not do wonders to the quality of your sleep unless you address the root of the problem. Hitting the sack gets harder even in the middle of the night after drinking and that's a fact.
If you want to keep drinking and not feel like death the next day, try out these nightcap-like tips today!
What alcohol affects, water offsets
We've all been told that drinking eight glasses of water a day keeps us healthy and ready for the day, but have you ever tried drinking water after every pint or shot?
One of the effects of alcohol is obviously, getting you drunk. Intoxication, mild or severe, leads to dehydration and this adds to the headaches and vomiting.
It has been proven that drinking water in between rounds minimises alcohol effects in the short term, and allows you to function at kind of normal capacity.
Another benefit of drinking water while drinking alcohol lessens the effects of alcohol when it comes to your sleep. A bad hangover prevents you from getting enough sleep and in bad cases, will have you throwing up in the middle of the night. Drinking plenty of water might help prevent that.
Alcohol affects the central nervous system and your stomach, leading to disorientation and an upset stomach. In order to counter these negative effects of alcohol use, drinking water is a must.
Know your alcohol intake threshold
Setting the limit is different to actually staying below the line. This is true in life as well as for drinking.
Knowing how much alcohol you can handle before your stomach rebels against you is important. In order to prevent future embarrassment and to do good for your physical and mental health, it’s best to discover your limit.
Drinking obviously leads to intoxication, which can sometimes feel like sleepiness without the urge to go to bed. To prevent stumbling around like a zombie, learn when to say no so you’re not wrecked for the next day.
Another benefit of not taking binge drinking to the edge is that it doesn't lead to strong hangovers. We all get a bit tipsy after a few drinks and for some that buzz is enough. However, there are those who want to take it too far.
Unlike a light buzz, a hangover is nothing to scoff at, as it can lead to a range of symptoms, including feeling like your head is about to split open. Being passed out from over intoxication is different from a deep sleep after all.
A bad hangover affects your sleep patterns when experienced numerous times. Not even the body's natural circadian rhythm is safe as the quality of your sleep is compromised.
For alcoholics and habitual heavy drinkers, sleep disorders become an issue, as huge amounts of alcohol affects the brain's functions including when to sleep. To prevent that, learn your limit and stick to it.
Schedule Happy Hour accordingly
It’s common to head out for a drink after, taking place with or instead of dinner. Admittedly, this seems like the best time to let loose. All the responsibilities for the day are essentially over and all that is left is to relax.
You better be okay with sacrificing sleep, since drinking so close to bedtime tends to mess with the hours of sleep you get at any given night. Most people drink past dinner time and that means less time for getting a good night's rest to prepare for the next day.
A glass of wine as a nightcap is fine, but a night of drinking hard affects your sleep hygiene in the long term, while the immediate effects of a hangover and sluggishness is ever present.
To prevent having a good time colliding with your need for more rest, schedule your drinking dates earlier to give your body additional time to rest and recuperate.
Also, by putting a gap between your last alcohol drink and bedtime allows your body to prepare itself to shut down and recharge for the next day, making sleeping easier.
Your bed is your best friend
Stated simply, alcohol and a good night's sleep do not go together. You’ll often end up sacrificing one for the other.
Nevertheless, there are times when we cannot forego drinking. In those moments, you want to just sleep and make the world stop spinning.
Good thing that there are simple ways to get you conked out faster and better.
First thing to do is make sure that your bedroom is conducive for sleep, meaning no bright lights and loud noise. If you spent your night at a bar or club, you were exposed to harsh lights and booming sounds, so the second half of the night should be all peace and quiet.
Another way to ensure a relaxing and deep sleep after alcohol intake is trying out weighted blankets that are designed to ease you into a comfortable snooze.
Deep slumber is the part of the sleep pattern where our bodies slowly shut down and prepare for REM sleep, where dreaming happens. This stage can be disrupted by the alcohol in our system and prevents our brains from processing information better.
One for the road
Drinking is something we all love to do, for celebrating or even when you’re down. Whether alone or with friends, a few drinks won't harm anybody.
That said, moderation is key. In order to prevent yourself from having trouble falling asleep or developing sleep problems in the future, learn to curb your alcohol consumption.
The steps and tips outlined above are mere guides and handling a hangover differs from person to person. What works well for everyone when it comes to sleeping after alcohol use is to refrain from heavy drinking night in and night out.
It's not wrong to have fun and let loose once in a while, but in the process we shouldn't forget about our sleep. Cheers!