It is believed that alcohol consumption before going to bed may help in falling asleep faster, but a new study has found that drinking before the bed-time affects the overall quality of sleep.
The study was conducted at the researchers at the University of Melbourne.
According to the researchers, alcohol intake disrupts the brainwave patterns when going to sleep. It also interrupts the brain and body to complete sleep cycles, which ends up adversely impacting the overall quality of rest or rejuvenation that occurs at the time of sleep.
Dr. Christian Nicholas led the 30-day study that involved 24 healthy adults in the age group 18 to 21 years, who consumed less than seven drinks per week during the study period.
The researchers stuck electrodes on the heads of the participants in order to measure their brainwaves while sleeping.
They were given a nightcap of orange juice along with vodka followed by a placebo of orange juice along with a straw dipped in vodka.
When the researchers gave the nightcap to the sleeping test participants, their brains were unable to cycle via normal delta wave activity while sleeping. Additionally, the participants’ alpha wave patterns were found heightened, which normally occurs when someone is awake but resting.
The health experts said that alpha waves inhibited the ability of the body to perform various restorative functions that occurs when we are sleeping.
In fact, the brain patterns of the participants more closely resembled the activity of those who have been given electric shocks while sleeping or those sleeping with chronic pain problem.
In a statement, Nicholas said the main message behind the study is to avoid alcohol intake in order to help you drift off to sleep.
“The take-home message here is that alcohol is not actually a particularly good sleep aid even though it may seem like it helps you get to sleep quicker. In fact, the quality of the sleep you get is significantly altered and disrupted,” the study researcher said.
The study’s findings will be published in the Feb. 2015 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.