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Why Does Alcohol Make Me Sleepy?

Why Does Alcohol Make Me Sleepy?

⏱️ TL:DR ∙ Article in 20s

Alcohol acts as a sedative, slowing brain activity to cause drowsiness. After a while, however, it raises stress hormones and dehydrates the body, reducing restorative REM sleep. The initial sedation may help you fall asleep faster, but the rebounding effect raises your heart rate and causes you miss out on deep rest and wake repeatedly throughout the night. To avoid feeling tired, drink in moderation, stay hydrated, and consider supplements to help your body process alcohol and its most toxic metabolites faster.

It's a familiar feeling - enjoying a fun evening out with friends over some drinks when suddenly a wave of drowsiness seems to take over. Your eyelids grow heavy, focusing becomes more difficult, and all you want is to curl up in your bed. If alcohol makes you sleepy or gives you fatigue, you're not alone. This common reaction happens due to the way alcohol interacts with chemical messengers in the brain that regulate sleep and wake cycles.

The good news is that while alcohol can make falling asleep easier at first, there are things you can do to reduce that sudden onset of sleepiness.

Keep reading to understand exactly why alcohol triggers tiredness and how you can avoid some of the unpleasant side effects of drinking through small lifestyle changes and supplementation like Asian flush pills. With some helpful science-backed solutions, you don't have to let alcohol fatigue ruin an otherwise enjoyable night out.

The unfortunate reality is that while alcohol does make you sleepy to a certain extent, you won't get the quality sleep you need. In fact, alcohol and sleep disorders are directly correlated. You never get that REM sleep you need to truly recover and repair your body - which just contributes to an even more brutal hangover the following day. To help you understand why alcohol makes you tried, let's take a look at alcohol's sedative effects.

Why Does Alcohol Make Me Sleepy?

Does alcohol make you sleepy? Yes - many people have a drink or two with their friends, and despite everyone else showing high energy - they have to ask themselves, "why does drinking make me tired?".

Alcohol acts as a sedative -at least, at first. However, these effects wear off over time and result in a night of tossing and turning. You wake up thinking you got a good 8 hours of sleep - but you never reached REM sleep, so you might as well have slept half that amount! Let's look at how alcohol affects you at first...

Effects Of Alcohol At First: Sleepy

When you begin drinking, alcohol typically starts off by making you feel sleepy and tired. This is because alcohol has a direct impact on the central nervous system and is known as a depressant. Once in the bloodstream, alcohol makes it way to the brain and can slow down neuron firing.

Normal reduction in neuronal firing can cause sleepiness, tiredness, and relaxation, whereas too much reduction could cause a coma.

So, if you're asking yourself - why does alcohol make me sleepy? - this is why. You’ll probably begin feeling relaxed and sleepy after a few drinks. Those who have higher alcohol dependence, or higher alcohol tolerance, may require more drinks than normal to begin feeling sleepy.

Either way, it's pretty normal to get sleepy and relaxed when drinking alcohol.

For some with alcohol intolerance (or Asian Flush) alcohol can cause additional negative symptoms such as red facial flushing, stuffy nose and headaches.

Why Does Alcohol Sometimes Keep Me Awake?

Many people wonder, "why does alcohol make you sleepy?" - but others wonder, "why does alcohol keep me up at night?". This is an interesting topic, as alcohol works in different ways in different people. While some people struggle to keep their eyes open after just 2 drinks, others can't get shuteye after 2 drinks. What causes alcohol to sometimes keep you from reaching REM sleep?

While alcohol, at first, makes you feel relaxed or sleepy, it has a reverse effect later on in the night. If you have some drinks before bed, you might find that you’ll have trouble sleeping. While you might fall asleep without too much trouble, you tend to wake up a few hours later.

Alcohol raises the body’s level of a stress hormone, which stimulates the body (including increasing your heart rate). This can easily wake you up and cause you to have a poor level of sleep quality.

So while some people like to drink alcohol before bed to make them feel drowsy, they may actually have worse sleep in the long run.

After drinking a handful of pints with friends, you may find that you’ll wake up throughout the night to go to the bathroom. This can also make it hard to get a good night’s sleep!

If you drink alcohol, have a poor night sleep, and then drink alcohol again the following day, you can imagine that the problem is only compacted onto itself. This cycle can leave you feeling even more exhausted and drained.

In short: While you may initially ask yourself, "why does alcohol make me tired?", your question will inevitably become, "why can't I sleep after drinking alcohol?". That's because the compound works in mysterious ways. And as you'll learn below, alcohol affects your sleep in other ways, too.

Other Ways Alcohol Impacts Your Sleep

Some people feel as if they got a good night's sleep after a night of heavy drinking. But as the day goes on, they find themselves wondering - why does alcohol make me tired the following day? In addition to waking you up in the night, alcohol can also disrupt your natural sleep cycle - causing you to feel tired and lackluster throughout the entire next day.

Some people like to have a “nightcap” or a drink before bed because they find it gets them into deep sleep quicker. While this might be true, there are more negative side effects later on.

As you continue to sleep in the deep sleep stage, you will spend more time in this stage and less time in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, which is much more restful. That’s why you might feel really tired the following day, even though you were asleep for enough time.

So yes, alcohol may have helped you fall asleep faster (and maybe even sleep through the night). However, you probably had less restful sleep than normal, causing you to need tired the next day.

In short: how does alcohol disrupt sleep?

  • Makes you dehydrated

  • Increases your heart rate when you're trying to sleep

  • Causes you to go to the bathroom more at night, waking you up

  • Increases a stress hormone that wakes you up and stimulates your body

  • Relaxes certain muscles that can cause you to snore (or make sleep apnea worse)

  • Limits the amount of REM sleep you receive in the night, making you feel less rested

  • Continually using alcohol to help you fall asleep can lead to alcohol dependance, along with the associated health risks

How Can I Stop Feeling Tired After Drinking Alcohol?

A good way to feel awake and alert when drinking alcohol is to watch your consumption. A single glass of wine might not be enough to make you feel tired and lethargic, but multiple glasses might. If you drink within moderation, you may be able to limit the sleepiness you feel from alcohol.

Another way to stop sleepiness from alcohol is to increase your water consumption. Although drinking lots of water might interrupt your sleep, staying hydrated provides far more positive effects than negative. Since your body is constantly losing water (and drinking alcohol makes this worse) it’s important to stay hydrated when out at the bar. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water can help minimize how tired you feel while making sure you stay hydrated.

Keeping hydrated when drinking alcohol can also limit your hangover the next day, which is always a bonus.

Can Sunset Help With Improved Sleep After Drinking Alcohol?

Sunset Alcohol Flush Support is designed to remove the toxic byproducts from alcohol in those with Asian Flush, or alcohol flush syndrome. However, these byproducts can impact sleep, too, just like alcohol consumption. It's hard to sleep when you feel terrible from such a negative reaction to alcohol.

Sunset will speed up the removal of alcohol and its byproducts from your system, making sleep better. Sunset also reduces all the additional uncomfortable symptoms from alcohol, like a stuffy nose, headaches and red flushing.

Why Does Alcohol Make Me Sleepy? Wrapping Things Up

So, why does alcohol make me sleepy? You now know that alcohol has sedative properties that can cause you to feel tired quickly. But, as the night goes on, you'll find that you are unable to reach deep sleep. You spend the night tossing and turning. This is a weird conundrum - the very same compound that caused you to knock out early is now keeping you up? It's true - alcohol has very interesting effects on sleep. And unfortunately, these effects are very negative. In fact, excess drinking can lead to sleep disorders down the road.

Now that you know why does alcohol make you sleepy, there is just one thing left to do - assess your drinking habits and figure out how you're going to get a good night's rest even if you have a few drinks. Here are a few more tips to help you avoid the tossing and turning and wake up refreshed:

  • Drink moderately (especially if you have a big day ahead of you)

  • Hydrate throughout the night (double-edged sword - this will help you rehydrate, but you may wake up to pee)

  • Take Sunset Pills (these will help your body process acetaldehyde so you can break down alcohol more efficiently and enjoy a good night's rest - while preventing hangovers and the effects of alcohol intolerance).

Alcohol makes me sleepy too - you're not alone! But armed with the information we've shared throughout this article, you can feel confident having a few drinks knowing you'll still get a good night's rest. And if you still toss and turn, at least you know why!

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