How alcohol impacts our sleep
Training the morning of a big night out or the day after to “sweat it out” might just be the worst thing you could do. Let’s find out why.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SLEEP
Our bodies recover from the day and prepare for the next. During deep sleep, 95% of our growth hormone is released which helps our muscles repair and recover. REM sleep consolidates ideas and skills from short-term memory to long-term.
THE IMPACT OF ALCOHOL
After drinking you may sleep 8-hours but won’t wake feeling ‘rested’. Alcohol suppresses the active processes that happen during sleep. It crushes deep and REM sleep. This has big implications for training; muscle recovery is compromised and sleep deprivation increases injury risk.
HOW TO PLAN AROUND IT
Plan your intense or technical training sessions around your social calendar - to get the fitness response or gains from your workout you need to follow them with good quality sleep. Things you can do to help offset the effects of alcohol:
- Front-load your sleep in the days leading up to drinking
- Plenty of water alongside alcohol
- Drink with food; digesting fats slows the absorption of alcohol into our blood
- Longer warm-up and cool down; alcohol impacts reaction time, balance, and focus