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Sunday 26th May 2019

Alcohol 'disrupts sleep'

23rd January 2013

A team of researchers from the London Sleep Centre has carried out a major review of the impact of alcohol on sleep patterns.


They say that while people may nod off quicker, it can disrupt sleep patterns.

Researchers, who reviewed a number of studies to reach their conclusions, also suggested that a drink before bedtime may send people into a deeper sleep but rob them of the type of sleep where dreams occur, often regarded as the most satisfying part.

The team led by Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, medical director at the London Sleep Centre and co-author of the review, also advise against a nightcap as alcohol used too often could cause insomnia or individuals could become dependent on alcohol to get to sleep.

He said: “One or two glasses might be nice in the short term, but if you continue to use a tipple before bedtime it can cause significant problems.

“If you do have a drink, it’s best to leave an hour and a half to two hours before going to bed so the alcohol is already wearing off.”

Evidence has shown that the more alcohol someone consumes, the more their breathing is suppressed - which can turn non-snorers into snorers and snorers into people with sleep apnoea.

The team focused on 20 sleep studies in detail.

Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said: “Alcohol on the whole is not useful for improving a whole night’s sleep.”

The Sleep Council warned too much food or alcohol before bedtime can play havoc with sleep patterns.


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