Nightcap Warning Unveils Alcohol’s Effects on Sleep

"Discover the potential drawbacks of a nightcap as scientists reveal its impact on sleep. While alcohol may initially aid in falling asleep faster, it disrupts the natural sleep cycle, suppressing crucial REM sleep and increasing wakefulness. A study by Brown University explores the cumulative effects of alcohol on sleep structure, highlighting a significant decrease in REM sleep over multiple nights, even with low alcohol levels. This research sheds light on the importance of understanding the link between evening drinking habits and their potential implications for overall sleep and well-being."


Worldsfeed Health Desk: Indulging in a glass of wine with dinner or a nightcap may seem like a relaxing way to unwind, but scientists caution that these evening drinks could be more harmful than beneficial. While alcohol may initially help with falling asleep faster, it disrupts the natural sleep cycle by suppressing REM sleep in the first half of the night and increasing light sleep and wakefulness later on.

REM sleep, crucial for emotional regulation, mental health, memory processing, and creativity, is affected by alcohol-induced sleep changes. A recent study by researchers at Brown University delved into the impact of alcohol on sleep structure, revealing a cumulative decrease in REM sleep over multiple nights, even with relatively low alcohol levels.

The study, employing a unique repeated-night design, found that alterations to sleep persisted across consecutive nights following drinking episodes. Even low amounts of alcohol, below legal limits, were linked to a significant decrease in sleep quality. Researchers stress the need to explore safe alcohol consumption limits without affecting sleep. While occasional drinks may not severely impact sleep architecture, the study emphasizes the importance of considering how nightly habits, such as evening drinking, can affect meaningful aspects of sleep. The hope is that this research will contribute to public health awareness regarding the potential effects of bedtime alcohol consumption on overall well-being.

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