How Alcohol Impairs Your Sleep

orange alcohol drink

Even tea-totalers who just enjoy one drink in the evening may find it impairs their sleep, especially as we age. I know that’s true for me – alcohol never kept me awake until I started hitting my 50s!! Alcohol can wake you up….

Why Alcohol Wakes You Up

orange alcohol drinkAlcohol induces sleepiness by increasing the action of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, in the brain and blocks the action of glutamate, a stimulatory neurotransmitter. This is how alcohol mellows our thinking. And perhaps makes it easier to *go* to sleep. The problem is that this affect wears off after a few hours and rebounds, promoting higher levels of glutamate, a stimulatory neurotransmitter. So people (meaning me!)  may wake up 2-3 hours after falling asleep and only sleep fitfully afterward. A simple solution is to take the amino acid taurine. For adults, 1000mg taurine taken at bedtime helps to increase GABA receptor binding and will reduce the effects of rebound in the middle of the night. The impact? Likely a deeper, more restful night of sleep.  I hope that helps if you decide to try this out.  If you feel like you have a “sleep hangover” in the morning after taking taurine, you can try 500 mg.  If you are looking for more sleep tips,  check out my download “7 Steps to Good Sleep Hygiene”. You’ll find some great functional medicine tips to help you with better sleep every night. Because Nobody likes having a poor night of sleep!

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