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Does Alcohol Make You Tired? – And Is It The Reason Why You Are Tired

Does Alcohol Make You Tired - Woman Going for Drink in Bed

Why do you feel tired, when you really want to party?


Alcohol can make you feel tired rather than put you in party mode…

Actually it is quite a common phenomena

And although alcohol doesn’t help you get a good night’s sleep, it does have a sedative effect. Making you tired and want to take a nap.

Even just one drink may make you quite drowsy…

Science and Alcohol

Alcohol is widely considered a muscle relaxant and a depressant. The depressant part means it slows everything down in your body

But it doesn’t necessarily act in the way you want it to, and put you in the mood for a party… Sometimes drinking can make you very tired

Generally it exacerbates tiredness

This means if you feel tired before you drink alcohol (or your body does) drinking will make you want to sleep

Does Alcohol Make You Tired - Tired Woman and Drink

A long week is more likely the reason you are tired rather than the alcohol in your drink

But unfortunately it won’t be a great sleep. Later that night, alcohols ‘other' effects will kick into action…

The Late Night Effects of Alcohol

Levels of epinephrine (adrenaline) rise, your heart rate increase, your body is stimulated and that may be enough to waken you (but not to continue the party unfortunately)

In addition, you are more likely to need to urinate during the night – and – alcohol can also make breathing problems worse as it relaxes your throat muscles and if you suffer from sleep apnoea alcohol can make it worse.

According to Harvard Health Publications, around 10% of persistent sleep problems are caused by alcohol, and result in tiredness the next day. [3]

And just drinking alcohol during the day can make you drowsy – especially after a poor night’s sleep, or drinking at times when your natural energy levels are low.

What to Do if You Feel Tired from Drinking Alcohol

Fortunately, there is one drink which can boost your energy levels – and that is water. Since we are losing water all the time through sweat., urine and breathing, we need to replenish our supplies.

Around 60% of our body weight is water, and we have to maintain these levels.

Many experienced drinkers drink one unit of alcohol to one glass of water, to prevent the dehydration that alcohol causes, and to stave off drunkenness.

How Much Alcohol is Safe for Me to Drink?

In January 2016, The Department of Health(UK) recommended the following:

14 units of alcohol per week which is roughly a bottle and a half of wine or five strong pints of beer, for men and women.

Further guidelines, from the UK’s House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, advise people to have some alcohol free days to allow the liver, which detoxifies alcohol, time to recover. And for pregnant women – no alcohol gives the least risk to the unborn baby. [1]

How Alcohol Affects Your Sleep

Normal sleeping has stages.

First you enter a state of light sleep, followed by a deep sleeping state called rapid eye movement (REM)sleep. This cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is usually repeated several times every night. During REM sleep we dream and our brains recuperate.

Alcohol reduces the amount of REM sleep. This disturbance of REM sleep may cause poor concentration and daytime drowsiness. And the more alcohol you drink, the greater the sleep disturbance. [2]


Moderation is the key

Alcohol may help you fall asleep – but you are likely to be wakened in the night and the quality of sleep is impoverished. It can also make you drowsy during the next day, and day time drinking may also cause fatigue.

So, can alcohol make you tired? Yes, but you don’t have to do without. Moderate intake, up to 14 units of alcohol per week should not make you tired

If you feel like you are tired when you drink alcohol, it could be something else. Here is the list of most common reasons people feel tired

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