Is That Wine Before Bed Ruining Your Sleep? Here's Why

wine ruining sleepIf you have a glass of wine or two with dinner or before bed, you're not alone. But whether you imbibe for the pleasure of the taste or to take the edge off at the end of a long day, if you find you're not getting a restful night's sleep, that tempting elixir could be the culprit -- especially if you consume more than two glasses

Dr. Michael Breus, a.k.a. The Sleep Doctor, says he sees no problem with enjoying a couple of drinks, but several factors contribute to how they will impact your slumber.

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Alcohol is the #1 sleep aid in the world, Breus notes, thanks to its accessibility and ability to reduce anxiety. But using it as such can actually be counterproductive for several reasons.

Because alcohol is a diuretic, you may find yourself up in the middle of the night needing to use the bathroom, he says. Also, alcohol limits your ability to fall into the deeper stage 3 and 4 levels of sleep, so you may not feel as well-rested in the morning. Plus, alcohol dehydrates you. Mixed together, these components add up to a recipe (or cocktail) for not only a poor night's sleep, but also a possible hangover. 

But what if you don't want to give up that much-anticipated beverage at the end of the day? You don't have to, says Breus, if you consider making the following concessions. 

The Sleep Doctor suggests that if you're going to indulge and don't want your rest to be affected, stop consuming "three hours before lights out."

"For the average person, it takes one hour for the body to metabolize one alcoholic beverage," he says. 

Although alcohol will impact each person differently depending on their age, gender, and rate of metabolism, Breus recommends "a glass for a glass" as a way to counteract possible negative effects.

"Have a glass of water in between each glass of wine," he says. "This can help prevent dehydration; plus, it will make you feel full so you won't drink as much." 

Also, remember, two is the magic number when it comes to avoiding potential sleep problems. Reach for that third beverage and consider heeding Breus' words of wisdom regarding hydration and timing. 

Does drinking wine before bed negatively affect your sleep? 

  

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