3 Drinks You Should Avoid Before Bed

I love my morning coffee, but drinks like caffeine, alcohol, and even water can actually negatively affect your sleep. I had to learn my limits the hard way as to how late I could drink my coffee. I drank a seemingly harmless espresso at 4:00 p.m., but found myself exhausted at bedtime. I go to sleep.

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Alcohol, caffeine, and even water can affect sleep quality, according to Deirdre Conroy, a behavioral sleep expert at the University of Michigan. The good news is that even if coffee and alcohol are affecting your sleep, you don’t have to cut them out completely. Find out how these drinks affect your sleep and learn when to stop drinking them before bed.

Effect of caffeine hours later on sleep quality

You know that drinking caffeine makes you more alert and less sleepy, but you may not know that the effects of drinking caffeine can last for hours after you feel the initial impact. Conroy says, “Even after you’ve stopped feeling the stimulating effects, the properties are still working in your body for hours on end. , meaning that it may be affecting your sleep stages at night without you even realizing it.

The delayed or sustained effects of caffeine are due to caffeine’s “half-life.” According to Brigid Titgemeyer, a registered dietitian in functional medicine, caffeine’s half-life he said is 5 to 7 hours, which is “the time it takes for caffeine to be absorbed.” [level] Cut the body in half. Consuming caffeine before bed has been shown to reduce stages 3–4 sleep and suppress her EEG slow-wave activity, which can lead to fatigue the next day. ”

When to stop drinking caffeine before bed

“Caffeine sensitivity varies greatly from person to person, and people who consume caffeine frequently may react differently than those who don’t drink it at all,” Conroy said. Guidelines are 8 hours before bed and all caffeine products should be eliminated.

“I generally recommend cutting out caffeine around noon each day,” says Titgemeier. “This caffeine cutoff varies from person to person because the body’s response to caffeine is highly dependent on genetic mutations. A person’s genetics affects whether they metabolize caffeine fast or slowly.”

A glass of red wine with dinner.A glass of red wine with dinner.

Alcohol can make you sleepy at first, but it can affect your sleep later.

Klaus Wedfeldt/Getty Images

Effects of alcohol on sleep

alcohol can interfere with your sleep Even if it seems to have no effect, there are several reasons. First, it can cause heartburn and acid reflux. “We recommend stopping alcohol at least two hours before bed,” says Titgemeier. “This is primarily for people prone to heartburn and acid reflux. [drinking] Alcohol and lying down immediately afterwards can trigger reflux and interfere with a restful night’s sleep.

Titgemeier also says alcohol can disrupt REM sleep, an important and restorative stage of sleep. “When it comes to ensuring quality sleep, alcohol consumption interferes with sleep quality. However, the more alcohol a person drinks, the more REM sleep percentage appears to decrease,” she said. “For this reason, it is recommended that you abstain from alcohol for a few days a week to promote more restorative sleep.”

When to stop drinking before bed

Conroy recommends avoiding at least three hours before bed. “It’s sedating at first, so it helps you fall asleep, but it can keep you from staying asleep. So to avoid that, I usually use a three-hour guideline,” she says. Told.

Water is poured from a bottle into a glass.Water is poured from a bottle into a glass.

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Effects of water on sleep

Water is essential for a healthy life, hydration It is important. Drinking water before bed is fine, as long as it doesn’t cause you to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Even if you can easily get back to sleep, waking up can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder to accumulate the restorative benefits of sleep. Even if you’re hungry, you may be hesitant to drink water in the evening.

How long before bedtime should you stop drinking water?

You don’t have to avoid water completely in the evening, but limiting what you drink before bed may help, Conroy says. You can also drink more water throughout the day instead of waiting until the evening to catch up. It may seem like it, but ruining precious sleep can backfire.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified physician if you have questions about your medical condition or health objectives. Talk to your health care provider.

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