Sleep Sucks After Drinking? This is How Alcohol Affects Sleep

Did you know — there’s a real, biochemical reason you wake up at 3 a.m. after a night of drinking. It’s not your imagination, alcohol affects sleep in a big way.

This was a tidbit that came out in our last Happy Hour on sleep — our group that gets together every other week to talk health, get support and answer questions. Click here to sign up and join us for our next one.

I’m a big believer in knowing better so you can do better…

The Power in the Why and the How

And part of that is knowing the why behind what you’re doing.

For me, it’s not enough to tell me don’t drink alcohol, it’s not good for you.

We know this. And we do it anyway.

What’s powerful is knowing why… knowing what specifically is the effect that it’s having on your health. And from there you can make a really informed decision around that choice.

It comes from such more powerful and empowered place.

And you’re more likely to remain consistent with it too.

Obviously, one solution to alcohol affecting sleep… don’t drink.

I’m a realist though, and I like wine too, so let’s be practical….

What Happens When Alcohol Affects Sleep

What happens is alcohol causes the calming neurotransmitter GABA to rise – that’s what gives you that relaxed, warm fuzzy feeling after a glass or two…

It’s a temporary rise from the alcohol though, so when it wears off, its complementary neurotransmitter glutamate surges.

Glutamate is stimulatory so if you’ve fallen asleep under the temporary GABA spell, the surge will wake you up, get your brain going, and make it harder to fall asleep.

So what to do?….

Allow that temporary GABA to wear off before falling asleep.

Having that drink earlier in the evening rather than right before bed makes a huge difference.

Ideally no alcohol in the 3 hours before bed to avoid it messing with sleep.

GABA, glutamate, and the transition from one to the other is highly nutrient dependent and dysfunction in this area can precipitate issues with mood, anxiety, insomnia, and even more serious mental health disorders.

Activity of them can also be highly affected by what’s happening in the gut. This is that gut-brain connection in action…

Which we’re gonna dig into more at our next Happy Hour on Monday…

You don’t want to miss it…

Join us and get all the deets right here.

Megan Adams Brown

P.S. Happy Hour is the place to be to get motivated, learn, and up level your health. Bring your fav bevvie and come join a supportive, like-minded squad for info, inspo, and some accountability, too. Click here to sign up and get all the details.


The content in this post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical advice.

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