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Short Sleep Times and the Illusion of Alcohol’s Assistance

Overall, about about 1/4th of Coloradans aren’t getting as much sleep as recommended for optimal health.

Our bodies require a certain amount of time in sleep to allow all of the “stages” of sleep to occur. Insufficient sleep deprives the brain, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal system enough time to repair the microdamage that happens during our waking time.

Alcohol helps to fall asleep faster, but it deprives the body of REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement). REM sleep allows the brain to “file” what was learned or processed during the day and consolidate what was learned. One drink before bed doesn’t seem to have a measurable effect according to experts, but more than 2 drinks will affect memory, restorative sleep, and will affect your performance the following day.

One night probably won’t have an effect, but if you’re drinking every night before bed, the cumulative effects of “sleep loss” will affect your performance, memory, and increase that risk of other problems associated with low sleep times (see chart).

Short Sleep Stats for Colorado

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