How Many is Too Many?
It’s a Thursday night, practically the weekend, so you decide to have a few drinks, because why the hell not? You go out with your friends, have a good time, dancing and singing to Cardi B, trying hard not to fall on the floor. Time passes by, and before you know it, it’s 2 a.m, so you head home and pass out in bed.
However, sleeping drunk can be the worst. You wake up at dawn, unrested and unable to go back to sleep. Or if you do sleep through the early morning hours, noon finds you no better rested. A daze envelops as you shower, and you wash your hair for what might be the second time because, honestly, you don’t remember whether or not you already grabbed the shampoo.
But what’s most disturbed by a night of drinking are your dreams. In an article from Psychology Today, Dr. Michael J. Breus states, “during the second half of the night, sleep becomes more actively disrupted. As alcohol is metabolized and any of its sedative effects dissipate, the body undergoes what scientists call a ‘rebound effect.’”
Alcohol can motivate us and loosen us at the same time, but when sleeping, it will hinder REM sleep. Medical News Today notes, “most dreams occur during REM sleep, and it is thought to play a role in learning, memory, and mood.” So paying attention at work or classes the next day may feel a bit challenging after a night of too many margaritas, and the headache from your hangover won’t help either.
The other major problem with drinking is that we tend to drink in excess because we often believe that the more we drink, the more fun we have. But think about it, when was the last time you woke up and thought, Wow, I’m so glad I had those last two shots that propelled me into a blackout, that was critical for the amount of fun I had last night?
So if you don’t want a painstaking hangover the next morning, confusion or regret from drunken mistakes, and a decent night’s sleep, here are a few tips:
Prepare your bedroom before you leave to go out by filtering out the light in your room with either blackout curtains or a sleep mask, setting the temperature, so it’s comfortable and cool, and getting earplugs to block out any noise.
Eat a balanced meal before taking your first sip of alcohol. Regulating your body’s absorption of alcohol is essential.
Drink plenty of water. Perhaps try alternating between one drink and one glass of water. It will keep you hydrated while you drink alcohol.
Cut yourself off early. If you want a restful sleep and miss out on a hangover the next week, try to stop drinking alcohol at least four hours before you go to bed.