Should I Booze Before Bed? (And How Much?)
The nightcap is as old as time itself. Pouring yourself a nice drink before bed has existed since fermentation, and you can totally picture a Roman centurion getting out of his clunky armor and pouring himself some booze before sleep. Does it work? Well, it’s called a nightcap for a reason. Should it become a nightly ritual? Signs point to no.
While booze before sleep can be a fun and easy way to drift off to sleep, we’re here to give you the facts on alcohol, sleep, and its effect on your body. Here’s what you need to know to get the full benefits of the snooze without the side effects of the booze. So pour a nice glass of your favorite imbibement and read on. You’re going to be pleasantly surprised about what a little booze before bed means for your health, and living la dolce vita — the good life.
Light Consumption Before Bed Can Help Aid the Sleep Process
Scientists have gone back and forth on this the last few years, but it actually looks like a little booze before sleep can be a beneficial thing. A recent study showed that one twelve ounce beer before bed actually helped the process of falling asleep, and didn’t cause any sort of sleep disruption in the observed patients.
That means having a single nightcap (if you haven’t had one already) will probably help aid in your sleep cause. Like anything, this technique should be used in moderation. If you’re drinking every night to help you fall asleep, then your body will be woefully unprepared when you don’t have it as an option.
Moderate Consumption Might Help You Initially and Hurt in the Long Run
In the same study, scientists observed that while a small amount of booze before sleep might help, more of it didn’t necessarily help in a correlative way — and often led to sleep problems later on in the night. That’s because the body continues to process alcohol as we sleep, when it runs out, it can wake the body up.
Too much booze before sleep can actually contribute to sleep disorders and mess with your sleep cycles. That’s why it might help to have a beer or wine before bed, but try to avoid too much too late in the evening. Typically about an hour before bed is a good idea for a cutoff point if you’ve had more than one drink.
Try to Stick to Wine or Beer Rather Than Mixed Drinks
That’s why it’s so important to stick to lighter fare like wine or beer, which often has lower alcohol content than a mixed drink. It’s easier to measure how much you’ve had, and therefore easier to keep track of if it’s going to hurt your sleep schedule or not. Many people prefer a glass of red wine as a way to unwind after a long day, and the antioxidants and restorative properties make it a natural choice if you’re looking to have a little booze before sleep.
That being said, it’s all about personal taste. If you’d like to have a beer, then have a beer. If you want two, then go nuts! A little booze before sleep can be a nice way to relax and unwind, as long as you’re moderate in your consumption. So this summer, get out on the patio, grab a glass of your favorite red, and relax.
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