We all know the relaxing effect of a glass of wine, particularly after a long day at work. But does a nightcap really help you get a good night’s sleep, or does it simply make you feel drowsy?
Well, because alcohol is a relaxant, drinking a glass of your favourite Merlot in the evening can definitely make nodding off easier. The sleep-inducing effects of a glass of wine don’t last long, however, because alcohol can increase your body’s production of adrenaline and disrupt important stages of your kip. Drinking too many glasses of your preferred tipple can also up the number of times you wake up in the night to go to the bathroom.
In light of this, we thought it would be a good idea for the Mattressman team to come up with some useful tips for getting to sleep without resorting to alcohol, so here they are:
- Substitute your usual beverage for something that’s not boozy – there are loads of non-alcoholic beers, wines and even gins on the market for you to try.
- Go for a jog or do some light exercise in the evening to tire yourself out and get ready for bed.
- Meditation is really useful if your mind races just before going to bed. Concentrate on your breathing, focusing on each breath as it enters and leaves your body. When a thought enters your mind, acknowledge the thought and then calmly put it to one side, gently refocusing your attention back to your breathing. Continue this process for as long as you feel comfortable. Hopefully with practice, this will help you to feel more at ease with your thoughts and feelings and allow you to drift off.
- Give it time – self-medicating isn’t something to be ashamed of; we’ve all been dependent on something at some point or another. So, if you’ve been using alcohol to get to sleep for a long time, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get used to nodding off without it.
- Talk to someone – if you need help with managing your alcohol intake, seek advice from your GP or talk to someone you can trust.
We hope that this blog doesn’t cause you any anxiety about enjoying a nightcap, as there are many things that can hinder your sleep. But we do hope that reading this will make you re-examine your relationship with alcohol and consider making small changes to your bedtime routine that will improve your sleep in the long run.