YESTERDAY, the charity Drink Aware released new information on their website informing people that drinking alcohol in the late afternoon and evening can affect your sleeping patterns dramatically.

The charity said that alcohol may help you fall to sleep quickly but drinking alcohol before bedtime will seriously affect your quality of sleep, leaving you feeling like you have hardly had any sleep the next day.

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Colin Drummond, who is a professor of addiction psychiatry at Kings College London told Quays News that: “Alcohol is a short acting tranquilliser and has the temporary effect of reducing anxiety and promoting sleep.

The type of sleep which alcohol produces is not a healthy form of sleep required to rest the body and brain. So after an alcohol induced sleep people do not wake up feeling refreshed or rested, which is often compounded by a hangover.”

On a normal nights sleep when no alcohol has been consumed, you will go through six or seven stages of sleep which leaves you leaving refreshed in the morning.

However, on a night when alcohol has been consumed you will go straight into a deep sleep, missing out on the most important stage of sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) and resulting in you only having one or two stages of sleep in total, leaving you extremely tired in the morning.

According to the Manchester Strategy 2012-15 from Manchester City Council: “Manchester is also has one of the highest rates of alcohol related hospital visits, with 13,783 hospital admissions and 89,500 A&E alcohol related attendances.

“Manchester ranks the fourth most deprived local authority area in in England. Based on data gathered as part of a national needs assessment process It is estimated that there is over 13,000 dependent drinkers in Manchester.”

With this statistics of alcohol related incidences in Manchester being so high, and 13,000 people being dependent on alcohol in Manchester, this issue of alcohol causing lack of sleep could have a direct effect the productivity of Manchester’s workers. With dependent alcohol drinkers coming to work in Manchester having had a low quality nights sleep.

With it being quite well known that alcohol can help you fall to sleep, in addition, the charity also want to make people aware that the long term affects of using alcohol to help you sleep can be serious.

Speaking to Professor Drummond about this, he agreed with the charity saying that: “People who are using alcohol to help them sleep rapidly develop tolerance to alcohol, so that the amount required to get these effects rapidly increases.

“When someone becomes dependent on alcohol to get to sleep they begin to suffer from insomnia on days they do not drink or drink less, leading to a vicious cycle of more drinking and poor sleep. Leaving them extremely tired all the time.”

The advice from Drink Aware is to wait for your body to process the alcohol before you sleep. On average it will leave your body about one hour per unit.

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