How to sleep better after drinking

Friday 21st Jun 2024 |

We’ve all been there. Midweek drinks after work have gone on later than expected and now, you’re faced with the dilemma of going to bed drunk to wake up for your early morning.

Sleep Expert from MattressNextDay Martin Seeley has put together his expert tips on how you can still get a good night’s sleep after a night of drinking to avoid feeling worse in the morning.

By Sleep Expert Martin Seeley from MattressNextDay 

What should you do before going to bed after drinking?

Delay sleep

As alcohol is a depressant, which works by slowing down brain activity, it’s normal to feel tired after an evening of drinking, however Martin advises that you should give your body enough time to metabolise alcohol before going to bed to avoid a poor night’s sleep.

“It takes your body around one hour to process and offset one unit of alcohol,” Martin explains. “According to the NHS, one alcohol unit equates to one small spirit shot. Remember to keep track of how many units you’re drinking to correctly work out how long you should give your body to metabolise your night’s drinking.”

sleep better after drinking

Drink plenty of water

Not only is alcohol a depressant but it’s also a diuretic, which causes your body to remove fluids through your kidneys and bladder at a much faster rate than other liquids, resulting in increased urine production. Not only does this mean you’ll use the toilet more frequently, but you’ll also become dehydrated faster.

“Feeling dehydrated can both worsen hangover symptoms and disrupt sleep further,” Martin explains. “To avoid this, a good rule of thumb is to have a glass of water alongside each drink, to avoid feeling dehydrated.”

Martin continues “I’d avoid drinking lots of water just before bed, to make up for the night’s drinking, as this can disrupt your sleep by causing your body to wake up to use the toilet.”

Have a nutritious snack

sleep better after drinking

Although generally you should avoid eating too late as it can delay your ability to fall asleep, eating something nutritious after drinking can go a long way to reducing the effects of alcohol and eventually result in a better night’s sleep.

“Eating a late-night snack can help slow down your body’s alcohol absorption,” Martin notes. He warns however to “try not to eat right before you go to sleep” and instead give yourself up to two hours before bedtime to avoid feeling too full while in bed.

Although sometimes the thought of greasy chips and a kebab after drinking sounds heavenly, it’s recommended to opt for more nutritious foods that are high in protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. This includes wholegrain bread, eggs, fruit and vegetables.

Create an optimum sleep environment

“Ensure that your bedroom is cool as alcohol raises your body temperature,” Martin advises. “Cool bedding that is breathable, such as linen or bamboo, is also advisable as this helps prevent your body from overheating while you sleep and minimises any disruption.”

Martin continues “you should also make sure your mattress is comfortable, supportive and optimum for you. An uncomfortable mattress can cause physical and eventually mental stress which affects how well you rest. A more comfortable mattress helps alleviate stress levels by giving your body time to rest and repair.”

Finally, you should stay away from electronic gadgets with blue light for at least an hour before bed as this can affect your melatonin production too. “Instead, keep your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible,” Martin advises.

It’s worth noting that although creating an optimum sleep environment will help after drinking, Martin recommends “this should be good practise all nights to ensure you sleep well at all times.”

sleep better after drinking

Is less sleep better than a disruptive sleep?

Although it’s well and good allowing your body extra hours to recover from drinking, you may have an early morning coming up and feel stressed about staying up too late, however Martin advises to power through.

“A shorter night’s sleep is better for you than a night of uninterrupted sleep,” he explains. “In fact, an uninterrupted night’s sleep caused by alcohol results in less time spent in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep, resulting in you feeling groggy the next morning.”

Bastille Day Bottomless Brunch at Bar Antoine