– How booze plays havoc with your rest: Alcohol reduces amount of time spent in deep sleep (Daily Mail, Jan 23, 2013):
Alcohol may help you fall asleep but it leads to a disrupted night’s rest, scientists reported yesterday.
Drinking was found to increase tiredness by reducing the length of time in deep sleep, which is important in allowing the body and mind to relax.
Irshaad Ebrahim, of the London Sleep Centre and co-author of the report, found the higher the consumption of alcohol the less deep – or REM – sleep takes place.
Lack of it can have a detrimental effect on concentration, motor skills and memory.
Dr Ebrahim said he hoped the review would help people understand that short-term alcohol use only gives the impression of improving sleep and should not be used as a sleep aid.Study co-author Irshaad Ebrahim, medical director of the London Sleep Centre, said: ‘This review has for the first time consolidated all the available literature on the immediate effects of alcohol on the sleep of healthy individuals.’
Colleague Chris Idzikowski, of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said: ‘Alcohol on the whole is not useful for improving a whole night’s sleep.
‘Sleep may be deeper to start with, but then becomes disrupted. Additionally, that deeper sleep will probably promote snoring and poorer breathing. So, one shouldn’t expect better sleep with alcohol.’
The review found that at all dosages, alcohol brings on sleep quicker, but leads to an increase in sleep disruption in the second half of sleep.