Why Does Alcohol Make You Tired?  

Sometimes, after we drink alcohol, we struggle to get a good night’s sleep. You feel tired the next day, you may have a headache and you don’t feel in any way rested. Let’s find out why alcohol makes you tired.

A popular myth is that alcohol is a nightcap. And while alcohol is a sedative and may make you fall asleep it will affect your overall sleep quality. It is important to remember that you can build a tolerance to that sedative effect. Relying on the nightcap will then become ineffective.  

Alcohol supresses melatonin which regulates the sleep cycle. When the sleep/wake cycle is disrupted. It also affects the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) part of sleep. REM sleep is what helps us focus and concentrate the next day. When you lack REM sleep and you may feel like you can’t focus or concentrate on much.  

Did you know that alcohol can affect the circadian rhythm? The circadian rhythm controls lots of functions such as metabolism, immunity, mood cognitive function and more. You may notice after you have drank alcohol you feel fluey the next day, your reflexes are slower, and your mood is low. Over time alcohol can have a longer effect on the circadian rhythm. It is important to remember that alcohol can cause breathing difficulties so you may notice excessive snoring. It also has a diuretic affect which means you may need to go to the toilet more frequently, this will affect your sleep quality.  

Even though you may have fallen asleep quickly after having a few drinks and slept for most of the night, the actual quality of your sleep may not be good. Not getting enough and good quality sleep can affect your concentration, focus, mood and much more, especially after an alcohol induced sleep. Remember that the quality of your sleep can affect how you drive he next day. Now we know why alcohol makes you tired. Use our drinks calculator to get an estimate time of how long it will take your body to process the alcohol and get some more sleep before you get behind a wheel of a car. You can always use alternative means of transport, bus, train, luas, taxi or ask for a lift. To find out more about how alcohol can affect you long and short term health, see here