5 Simple Steps to Reducing Drinking Intake for a Better Night’s Sleep

Do you drink alcohol often – perhaps as part of your daily routine, while you eat, or after a long day of work – but find it hard to sleep at night? In this case, drinking and sleep may be related. The effects of excessive alcohol consumption on your health are detrimental. 

Alcohol intake and sleep

You may experience poor sleep quality if you drink regularly or excessively. It is possible for you to feel tired and sluggish daily. You can’t sleep well if you drink too much alcohol because you disrupt your sleep cycle. Initially, alcohol may help some people fall asleep, but the adverse effects of alcohol on sleep quality outweigh this.

When you drink alcohol, you spend less time in the most critical sleep stage – Rapid Eye Movement. You will feel the effects even after a couple of drinks.

Also, too much alcohol consumption can cause a hangover in the morning. So, besides feeling tired, you might suffer from a headache and be more stressed. It may take you some time to recover from your hangover so that you can function. Sometimes, only time will help you recover from it, but you can also prevent having a hangover by limiting how many alcoholic beverages you consume.

Furthermore, drinking alcohol may force you to wake up at night to go to the bathroom. As a diuretic, alcohol causes the body to lose as much water as possible, not only in urine but also through sweat, worsening dehydration.

If you drink more than the recommended amount, you may feel sleep deprived the next day.

Additionally, drinking can make you snore since it relaxes the muscles in your body, so your throat, mouth, and nose are more likely to vibrate when air is not flowing smoothly.

In more severe cases, alcohol may make you more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which your airways narrow and you can’t breathe properly at night. If sleep apnea goes untreated, it can lead to diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of stroke. As a result, you may have a worse mood, lose concentration, and even have an accident due to fatigue.

Reducing your alcohol intake

It may be a wise idea to reduce your alcohol consumption if you drink more than the recommended amount.

If you reduce your alcohol intake, you can sleep better, feel better, and have better relationships. In addition, it lowers your risk of chronic illness, increases your energy levels, enhances your work performance, and saves you money.  

It can be overwhelming to stop drinking alcohol entirely if you do it regularly, but any reduction benefits your health. If you want to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume, here are five steps you can take.

  1. Be careful not to drink alcohol right before bedtime. 

When drinking alcohol, you should avoid doing so too soon before bed. By allowing your body to process the alcohol before going to sleep, you can improve your sleep quality. Generally, it takes an hour for your body to process one unit, but it varies widely from person to person. You will have to wait longer if you drink more.

  1. Avoid your triggers.

To cut down or stop drinking altogether, avoiding situations where you would typically drink is a good idea. People, places, things, and specific activities can trigger the urge to drink. If you avoid these triggers, you are less likely to drink when you would otherwise not.

  1. Eat before and in between drinks.

Eating before or even while drinking can dampen the effect of alcohol and make you want to drink less.

It is possible for some people to reduce their alcohol cravings by eating food. While it might not work for everyone, eating something before drinking can help reduce your thirst for alcohol.

Keep in mind that your time with family and friends should not be dominated by alcohol. Plan to eat while drinking instead of just having a drink.

  1. Do other things.

Try substituting other activities, such as exercising, for your usual drinking habits during those times when you might usually drink. This is especially true if drinking has become a big part of your life. It may be a good idea to pick up a hobby, start an exercise program, make new friends, or spend more time with your family. You need to find something that you enjoy that will occupy your time during which you would normally be drinking and that you will enjoy doing it.

Physical activity can reduce anxiety and help you cope with other negative emotions if you can engage in outdoors and other activities you enjoy.

  1. Measure your intake and use spacers.

Make sure you count drinks accurately if you plan to count them. Learn what constitutes a standard drink to measure how many you have consumed accurately. No matter where you are, whether you are in a restaurant or a bar, stick to your goal.

Another way to reduce alcohol consumption is to use nonalcoholic drinks as spacers between alcoholic drinks. Drinking plenty of water with your alcoholic beverages is always a good idea, no matter how much you drink. Aside from water, a person may alternate between drinking alcoholic beverages and juice or soda to slow down their consumption.

Tracking your alcohol consumption

The benefits of tracking your drinking go beyond counting or measuring. According to a study with problem drinkers, tracking helped them not drink alcoholic drinks when tempted. Having an idea of how much alcohol they consume daily makes them want to reduce their consumption.

You can easily track your alcohol consumption with Sunnyside. The drink tracking app reminds you to monitor your drinks daily and helps you track them. As well as monitoring your calorie consumption, it allows you to count the number of calories you’ve lost.

Best wishes on your journey to better sleep and a healthier mind and body!

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