I’ve never been a big drinker. Honestly, I don’t think the hangovers are worth it, and the older I get, the worse they seem to be. But in my experience, even just one drink before bed can leave me feeling slightly worse for wear the next day.
I’ve always thought it was just my body, but according to Dr Christian Nicholas and his team at the University of Melbourne, there’s science to back up the relationship between alcohol and sleep.
In a recent study – where they gave 24 young adults a small nightcap before bed – they confirmed that even one vodka and orange is enough to significantly disrupt the natural cycle of your sleep.
Even though it may feel like dropping off after a few bevvies is easy, the study showed that once the participants were snoozing, the brainwaves responsible for deep sleep and calm wakefulness were activated at the same time. This created a sort of conflict in their brains that hindered their ability to get to a deeper level of rest.
For the 33.5% of people who drink alcohol before they sleep, this is not good news.
According to Dr Christian, we need to go through all the levels of our sleep cycle to enjoy the nourishing benefits of a good night’s kip. Any disruption to this – including spending the night filling your system with booze – could easily leave you feeling tired and groggy the next day.