- the vicious cycle
- enjoying alcohol
- coffee timing
About this podcast
listen to the podcast below:
Sleeping With Alcohol And Coffee
Alcohol and coffee are two drinks that many of us love. Drinking both daily can lead into a vicious cycle that can easily rob our sleep quality. But can we enjoy alcohol and coffee without risking major sleep and health issues?
The vicious cycle
Our lives are busy. We are constantly facing high demands directed toward us. As a result, we often feel stressed, worried, guilty, and sometimes even angry. And how great does beer or a glass of wine feel now…
Nearly instant relaxation.
And then it happens. We start drinking alcohol every day. We fall asleep with ease and wake up exhausted.
Where is my coffee?
This is what we demand now as our first aid to wake us up. And then another and another. Overstimulating our central nervous system and leaving our brains with a ton of caffeine to handle at nighttime.
What you should know about alcohol
Alcohol relaxes us – yes. But it also prevents our brains from performing REM sleep (dream sleep). This sleep stage is majorly important for our memory function, our emotional balance, and to complete a full night of resting sleep.
So drinking alcohol will leave us with huge drawbacks when it comes to our brain functions. But it will also prevent us from getting the resting sleep we would otherwise be able to harvest.
In a self-experiment, I was able to sense that I had only one small glass of wine the night before. This was something that truly surprised me.
Now comes the coffee
Because we don’t feel as rested we are openly welcoming any help. And luckily we’ve got good old coffee to help us out, right?
Coffee stimulates our central nervous system and makes us feel more alert. It also wakes us up and keeps a hormone called Adenosine from adding up additional tiredness to our lives.
Unfortunately, we are talking about a substance that has a half-life of 6 hours. This means that 6 hours after our coffee intake, half of its caffeine is still present in our body.
As an example. Drinking a cup of coffee at 3 pm will leave you with half of its caffeine at 9 pm!
Good that we can have a glass of alcohol now to wind down and fall asleep at some point…
Living without becoming a monk
So if alcohol damages my sleep and coffee lets me stay awake at night time should I go ‘sober’ on both?
I wouldn’t go that far. But there are a couple of things that you should take to heart:
#1 avoid drinking alcohol every day
#2 add in additional sleep (at least one hour) when you had alcohol the night before
#3 skip your first coffee (rather move your body or use light exposure)
#4 avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon (6 hours half lifetime)
Combining the above steps will easily let you break through the vicious cycle of coffee and alcohol.
Drinking less coffee will leave you with more tiredness at night time. Being tired will make it easier to skip your glass of wine for your sleep. Sleeping well will make it easier to skip your breakfast coffee and so on…
Now you’re on a self-propelling health and sleep cycle.
Cheers & sleep well,