AS more and more invites roll in for parties and gatherings, most of us will be having more booze than usual.
While you might nod off straight away after a heavy night, it’s likely that your dreams will be plagued by the weird and wacky.
Everyone dreams and it’s completely normal, there are many theories about dreams with the most common being that they are a representation of subconscious thoughts.
Many sleep experts have managed to get a handle on what certain dreams could mean.
But many people will often say they have weird and vivid dreams after boozing and the experts at mattress company Otty say there is a reason for this.
They explain: “When you go to bed following a heavy night of drinking, the quality of sleep you enjoy is actually poorer.
“The blood alcohol level in your system will drop once you stop consuming alcohol, leaving you in a shallow state of sleep, and with frequent disturbances and waking throughout the night.
“So when you fall into REM sleep (the stage of sleep you dream in), you’re more likely to recall your dreams.”
The experts said that alcohol disrupts the sleep cycle and suppresses REM sleep, which can leave you feeling like you’re half awake and half asleep, which you probably are.
“Because of the subsequent waking throughout the night, there’s more chance you’ll wake up with a vivid, weird recall of the dream you were just having.
“The alcohol in your system mixed with the state of limbo will often leave you experiencing vivid and nightmare-fueled dreams.
“Your body is trying to gather as much information as possible from its environment, which may not be so black and white after a night of drinking.”
This, they explained, can also be psychological, depending on what kind of drinker you are.
“If you’re typically an emotional drinker, these thoughts and emotions can manifest themselves into the content of your dreams, leaving you with intensely haunting or evocative dreams”, they added.
We all know the feeling of a hangover and feeling ropey after a bad sleep.
But the experts said that just one night of restless sleep can result in a wide range of adverse symptoms.
They said the most obvious symptom is drowsiness which makes it harder for you to stay alert and to perform simple tasks without wanting to fall asleep.
“Your brain will be functioning at a slower rate, meaning you will really struggle to concentrate”, they added.
As well as this, a lack of sleep can cause you to become more irritable, so you may find yourself getting much angrier about what would normally be insignificant things.
Finding it hard to sleep? Your diet could be missing these ingredients
If you’re having issues with sleep then it could all be down to your diet, one expert says.
Nutritionist Gail Madalena, who works with PureSport said you may benefit from specific natural ingredients.
Combined, she said the below ingredients can help the mind to switch off, and the body to enter into a deeper, more restful sleep.
Magnesium: Gail said mineral magnesium is essential for hundreds of cellular reactions in the body, plus it can also help the body to relax. You can get magnesium, she said, from foods such as dark leafy vegetables, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and almonds.
Chamomile: There is research to suggest that the flavonoid apigenin, found in the plant extract chamomile, could help calm the mind. explains Gail. A mug of chamomile tea before bed can be helpful, and research suggests that a mug of chamomile 45 minutes before bed can help you nod off.
L-theanine: This amino acid may not be essential for our body, but it can be useful in altering the levels of certain chemicals in our brain. Gail explains: “The chemicals serotonin and dopamine have an effect on our sleep, and these are the chemicals which L-theanine can impact.”
Cannabidiol: Growing in popularity, research on CBD suggests that it could help improve sleep. It’s a popular treatment for insomnia too and is said to have the ability to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, both of which can hugely impact our ability to sleep.
But they said the most noticeable and common physical symptom is puffiness around the eyes due to water imbalance.
“You will also very likely get dark circles (‘bags’) under the eyes. This is due to the blood vessels dilating.
“Your sex drive can plummet after just 24 hours of sleep deprivation, due to being too exhausted to feel aroused.
“Because your body is struggling to cope with exhaustion, you will likely have an increased muscle tension, which can cause tremors”, they added.
If you still want to have a drink but don’t want to have the consequences of a hangover or vivid dreams then there are things you can do.
“Try and limit yourself to just a few drinks, avoid that extra Sambuca shot and make sure to get a good night’s sleep”, the experts added.
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