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Saturday Night Special:
How To Sleep Well After Drinking
Published March 31, 2017 by Kala Sleep
Written by Kala Sleep
Mar 31, 2017
Tags:
  • Alcohol
  • Drinking
  • Drunk Sleep
  • How To
  • Kala Sleep
  • Sleep

Ever woken up after a night of drinking and felt a little worse for wear? Try these strategies for before, during, and after drinking to sleep better and recover more quickly.

Hangovers are the worst. What you may not know is that in addition to your hangover, part of that oh-god-please-kill-me feeling is the fact that alcohol ruins your sleep, robbing you of much-needed rest and recovery. So how can you sleep better after drinking?

Fun fact: when you fall asleep with alcohol in your system, your body never properly shuts down, leading to a faster heartbeat and much more active nervous system than usual. This means that once the alcohol that's sedating you has mostly worn off, you keep snapping back awake, never entering the restorative REM stage of sleep. Short story: you wake up groggy, unrested, and feeling like…well, like you barely got a wink of sleep.

Fun fact: when you fall asleep with alcohol in your system, your body never properly shuts down, leading to a faster heartbeat and much more active nervous system than usual.

So how can you sidestep the poor sleep that makes your morning after even worse? Try these strategies for before, during, and after drinking to sleep better and recover more quickly.

Before Drinking

  • Rest up. This may sound weird, but if you can, get as much sleep as possible the nights leading up to your big night out. The more rested you are generally, the quicker you'll bounce back from a night of poor sleep.

  • Prep your sleep space. Since alcohol makes you sensitive to every disturbance, make it as soundproof, lightproof, and temperature-controlled as possible. Put earplugs on the bedside table, block out morning light, and set the room to 65-68 degrees F (the sleep temp recommended by experts).

  • Eat a balanced meal. Make sure to get some solid protein and a smattering of carbs and fat, which will keep your body nourished through the night. Red meat is a good bet - the protein and B vitamins will help your body process alcohol.

While You're Out

  • Hydrate. And not just in big bursts when you remember - drink water regularly.

  • Avoid caffeine in your mixed drinks. It's an extra diuretic and will only dehydrate you further.

  • If you really need to sleep, cut yourself off. A good rule is to stop drinking around 4 hours before you need to sleep.

After Drinking

  • Take a small amount of the right pain meds. 2 aspirin is best, a small dose of ibuprofen is fine, but DON'T take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or related meds - they can lead to liver damage when used with alcohol.

  • Drink a glass of water. Seriously, do it. Not a ton, though, or you'll be waking up to pee instead of sleeping.

  • Snack (responsibly). You may be tempted to plunder everything snackable from the kitchen, but resist! Try to stick with things that are easy to digest, that contain good nutrients, and that won't upset your stomach. A banana, some crackers, and/or some toast with honey are good options.

  • Pop a multivitamin. It'll help replenish the B vitamins and other nutrients that alcohol reduces in your body.

  • Sleep in. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

  • And now, BRUNCH. (This isn't a recommendation based on medical science, more of a non-medical suggestion based on things that are great).

Dying for more life hacks and tips? Check out Kala Sleep on Pinterest for much more (in sexy infographic form, to boot). 

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