Drink before bedtime can seem an appropriate activity to facilitate sleep, but the effect in the end is that the rest worsens. These are the key findings of a group of researchers who have published their work in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
To analyze the effects of drinking alcohol before bed, scientists performed electroencephalograms which measured brain activity during sleep in people between 18 and 21 who had taken alcohol (half a liter of vodka and orange juice). Although an increase was observed in the power of delta waves, related to the deeper stages of sleep are essential for a good rest, initially also detected an increase in frontal alpha activity, symptoms of sleep disturbance.
As the researchers explain in their paper, their results suggest that the simultaneous activity of delta and alpha waves must be seen as something other than just increase the positive delta activity. This phenomenon, called in the seventies as alpha-delta sleep, reduce repair activity NREM (non-REM), one of the periods for which you pass when you sleep. Furthermore, this combination of alpha and delta waves has been observed in patients with sleep disorders that arise tired and has been linked to headaches or muscle pain and bad mood.
These increases in alpha delta have also been observed in people with chronic pain activity, therefore, if sleep is disturbed regularly drinking alcohol before bed, especially for long periods of time, this could have adverse effects on welfare during the day and neurocognitive functions such as learning and memory.