Picture this: Saturday night at the club with your friends. The DJ is spinning what you’ve loudly declared as “your jam,” and the alcohol is flowing perhaps a little too freely. Next thing you know, it’s 4am, your shoes are gone, you’ve regrettably texted two of your exes and you’re more than ready to curl up in bed and sleep the rest of your life away. However, the quality and quantity of this sleep is scientifically proven to be lacking (to say the very least). Getting a little boozy throws your whole body chemistry off, and consequently, hitting the pillows when you’re drunk is not going to make for a well-rested night. Here are seven things that happen to your body when you try to snooze when you’re not-so-sober:
1. Falling Into Deep Sleep Too Quickly
That “pass out” feeling you experience when you go to bed drunk is actually you skipping your first stage of sleep, which is the lightest stage when you easily wake up. Because of this, drunk-you falls into deep sleep about eight minutes earlier than sober-you, and you will have fewer REM cycles which is the kind of deep sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed and recharged.
2. REM Cycle Disturbance
During a normal night of sleep, you should experience about six or seven REM cycles. Alcohol can reduce this number of REM cycles down to just one or two, which won’t have you feeling good come morning time. REM is a necessary restorative stage of sleep that helps you process your memories and emotions of the day, so it can be very important to feeling your best the following morning.
3. Lots of Snoring
Falling asleep quickly means your muscles are super relaxed as well. Unfortunately, this also includes your throat muscles which can lead to some seriously thunderous snoring. Let’s just say your partner or roommate will not be so pleased with you sounding off like a chainsaw all night long.
4. Accelerated Heart Rate
According to Men’s Health, your nervous system is way more active than normal during sleep, meaning your heart rate and blood pressure are increased. Normally, these increase after REM sleep but alcohol disturbs this process and leaves you feeling sad and sleepy come morning time.
5. Endless Tossing and Turning
Because all those drinks will have you sleeping hard and fast through your usual stages, you’re also more likely to wake up long before you really want to, usually between four and six in the morning. When your body is done processing the alcohol you consumed, the sedative effects wear off causing you to toss and turn while trying to get back to dreamland.
6. Night Sweats and Frequent Bathroom Use
Alcohol is a diuretic. That being said, it gives your body a definite nudge in the direction of releasing all your bodily fluids because of how it blocks the hormone you use to retain water. Fitful sleep aside, expect to frequently get out of bed to make trips to the good old porcelain throne. If you notice you smell exactly like all those drinks that were passed around last night, it’s because alcohol widens you skin’s blood vessels and kicks up your heart rate, meaning you’ll be sweating. A lot.
7. Exhausted (and Hungover) Morning Wake Ups
These are just facts, people. You overindulge, you usually suffer. Waking up with a killer headache and a heaping side helping of nausea is never a good time.
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