Is it true that a couple of glasses of the “good one” before going to bed can promote a peaceful rest? According to experts, no: alcohol acts on the brain by unhinging the sleep cycle with effects, especially in the long term, which are anything but positive. Jennifer Martin, a doctor and professor of medicine at the University of California, explains in a recent interview with the New York Times.
More tired than before. “Alcoholic drinks”, explains the expert, “alter the succession of the phases of deep sleep and light sleep that characterize our rest”. Alcohol, in fact, promotes continuous awakening and falling asleep that make the sleep cycle start from scratch every time. The result is that, after a generally dreamless night, in the morning you wake up more tired than before, with a headache and very little energy.
In short, alcoholic beverages, while favoring a faster fall asleep, have a bad effect on the second part of the night. But in detail, what happens to our brain after a few drinks? A few minutes after being ingested, alcohol reaches the brain where it interacts with gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a neurotransmitter that inhibits the transmission of nerve impulses and has a calming effect. Furthermore, alcohol almost completely suppresses the REM sleep phase, the one during which you most frequently dream.
He snores more. Not only that: alcohol also has a powerful diuretic effect that forces you to wake up frequently for equally frequent visits to the bathroom. And as if all this were not enough, that too much glass also contributes to making you snore more: alcohol is in fact a muscle relaxant that promotes the distension of the upper airways and alters normal night breathing.
Alcoholic drinks taken before going to sleep, the experts conclude, is a very bad habit since they cause a rest disturbed by awakening more and more close. For a clear night it is therefore useful to limit consumption to a moderate amount of alcohol at least 4 hours before going to sleep. In short, yes to an occasional aperitif with friends, no to the glass of the stirrup immediately before going to bed.