Dreamy Nights

Dreamy Nights

sleepmd_300x184It's the end of the week, and if your TGIF routine looks anything like ours, you plan to reward yourself with some wine--followed by a good, full night of sleep. But before you polish off the bottle, know that while wine may speed you off to La La Land, it won't keep you there.

"Alcohol affects your quality and quantity of sleep," says the California Sleep Institute's Dr. Nelson Powell. If you've ever wondered why you're up at 6am after a late night out, it's because alcohol "can prevent you from relaxing into REM sleep for as long as you need--if at all."

Plus, as your sipping years go by, the less your nightcap will help you snooze. Even six hours before bedtime, one drink can impair your slumber.

Before you cancel your plans tonight, though, remember that every person's response to alcohol is slightly different. "People have to take responsibility themselves because we don't have metrics that measure the individual effects [of alcohol on sleep]," says Dr. Powell.

So it is possible to enjoy some wine and still get your beauty rest if you consume less--and do it earlier in the day. Hello, power-lunch Pinot Noir!

For more information on alcohol and sleep, click here. And if you have a time-tested trick of your own that ensures you can sip and sleep well, tell us about it below.

Photo by Mircea, "Reading and drinking (in bed)"

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