Learn / Why Does Alcohol Tend To Make You Tired?

Why Does Alcohol Tend To Make You Tired?

Aplós, August 17th, 2023

In our pursuit of connection, we often turn to rituals that seem as old as civilization itself. One such ritual is the pouring of a spirit, a shared experience that tethers us to the moment.

Yet, this momentary solace is often followed by a haze, a lethargy that descends like a heavy curtain, obscuring the clarity of a new day. The question that beckons is: Why does alcohol tend to make you tired?

Here, we aim to untangle this mystery, revealing the complex interaction between alcohol and your body and its subsequent impact on your sleep.

Alcohol and the Body: What Are Its Effects?

As the night sky descends over the city's shimmering skyline, you may reach for a glass to toast to connection. Yet, this act may soon be followed by a feeling of lethargy falling over you.

To understand why alcohol can make you tired, we must first understand how it affects the body.

Alcohol as a Depressant

To comprehend why alcohol induces tiredness, we must first understand its nature. Despite its association with conviviality, alcohol is, in fact, a depressant.

This means that it slows down the functions of the central nervous system, dimming the world around us. The euphoria that initially follows drinking alcohol can be misleading, concealing the true nature of alcohol as a depressant that dampens our senses.

Alcohol’s Impact on the Central Nervous System

When we drink, alcohol quickly finds its way into our bloodstream and heads straight for our brains. Once there, it affects the central nervous system, the grand conductor of our bodily functions.

Alcohol can impair the communication between neurons, causing a slowdown in cognitive functions, motor skills, and reaction times. This can induce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, contributing to its sedative effects.

Alcohol's Journey to the Brain

After drinking even a small amount of alcohol, this depressant is absorbed into the bloodstream. It can cross the protective barrier of our brain with ease, making a beeline for the neurotransmitter system.

By mimicking and blocking certain neurotransmitters, alcohol affects sleep, mood, and various other psychological and physiological processes.

The Sedative Effects of Alcohol

The sleepy feeling we get after consuming alcohol is partly due to its sedative effects. This sedation is the byproduct of alcohol's interaction with a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

By increasing GABA activity, alcohol promotes a sense of tranquility and calm. However, this peaceful interlude is transient, and as the night progresses, this sedation can disrupt our sleep cycle and lead to feelings of tiredness the following day.

How Does Alcohol Impact Sleep?

In the dim embrace of the evening, it is tempting to believe that alcohol’s ability to make us sleepy may serve as a pathway toward better sleep.

Yet, rather than enhancing the peaceful sanctuary of dreams, alcohol can introduce dissonance, interfering with the delicate balance of our natural rhythms and impeding our ability to enter a state of deep sleep.

Alcohol as a Diuretic

Like raindrops tracing their way down a leaf, alcohol in the body induces a similar flow — albeit a far less poetic one. As a diuretic, alcohol increases urination.

This heightened need to relieve oneself can cause frequent disruptions in your sleep cycle, pulling you from the depths of rest to the stark reality of a cold bathroom tile.

Alcohol’s Effect on Melatonin and the Circadian Rhythm

Melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating our internal clock or circadian rhythm, often becomes an unwitting casualty of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol can disrupt its production, casting a shadow over our biological timekeeper. This may lead to a sense of being untethered from the natural ebb and flow of day and night, ultimately impacting the quality and duration of sleep.

Disrupted Sleep Cycle

Alcohol's incursion into your sleep cycle can have long-lasting effects. Even moderate drinking can result in fragmented sleep patterns and reduced REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, leading to daytime sleepiness and decreased cognitive function.

Neurotransmitter Balance and Heart Rate

Alcohol disrupts the delicate balance of neurotransmitters in your brain, affecting your heart rate, among other things. This disruption can impact your sleep, hindering your ability to experience normal sleep patterns and subsequently reducing your energy levels and overall sense of well-being the next day.

Alcohol Quantity and Sleep Duration

The correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed and the quality and quantity of sleep is linear. The more you drink, the higher the likelihood of sleep disruptions and subsequent tiredness.

This is because libations lead to less time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a phase that nourishes the mind. For many, a night of excessive drinking can cut this stage of sleep down to a mere one to two hours, leaving one restless and parched for normal sleep.

Mental Health and Tiredness

The tendrils of alcohol extend beyond mere physical tiredness. The day after drinking can be a mental fog, affecting your mood, concentration, and overall mental health. The sense of clarity and presence, which defines our ability to engage with the world, may become clouded.

This fog may linger, obscuring the road to full awareness. The intoxicating allure of alcohol can beckon us. Still, the price is often paid in the subtle erosion of our mental terrain, a land less fertile and less attuned to the delicate music of everyday existence.

Unraveling the Myths Around Alcohol and Sleep

In our journey to dispel the shadows that conceal the truth around alcohol and sleep, we must part the veils and discover what lies behind the alluring whispers of slumber's elixir.

The Nightcap Myth

The concept of the nightcap — a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey before bed – is steeped in folklore rather than fact. While it may initially induce sleepiness, this quickly leads to disrupted sleep in the latter part of the night, leading to more frequent awakenings and a general reduction in sleep quality.

Chronic Alcohol Use and Sleep

A complex pattern emerges at the intersection of heavy drinking and persistent sleep disturbances. Chronic alcohol use weaves a complicated tapestry marred with sleep disorders that can persist into the longer term. This phenomenon, known as alcohol use disorder, poses a significant challenge to those on the path to recovery.

Alcohol dependence isn't merely a craving for another glass — it's a deep-seated shift that can significantly impact sleep. Chronic users often report a greater frequency of sleep disturbances, such as insomnia and sleepwalking. This transformative process underscores alcohol's capacity to reshape our most vital functions, including our sleep habits.

In understanding alcohol’s effects on our sleep and overall well-being, we unlock the door to more mindful choices. Recognizing the intricacies of our body’s reactions empowers us to cultivate habits that enhance, rather than inhibit, our ability to fully engage with the world around us.

What Are Healthier Alternatives?

Within the heart of nature lies the power to shape our experiences in ways that align with our desire for balance, clarity, and mindful living. In this spirit, we introduce Aplós Calme and Aplós Arise. These botanical-infused functional spirits are carefully crafted to offer an alternative path to wellness — day or night.

A Drink for Liveliness

Aplós Arise is designed to stir the senses without dulling them, enhancing the wonder of the present without casting the shadow of tiredness that alcohol often brings. Thanks to its adaptogenic properties, this bold and earthy concoction serves as an invigorating elixir, elevating the brightness and magic of each moment.

Unlike alcoholic beverages that may disrupt your normal sleep patterns, Arise encourages wellness and vitality, infusing your days with energy and connection.

Whether savoring the joy of a celebration or engaging in meaningful conversation, Arise is an invitation to live fully and mindfully, embracing the gift of clarity and presence. Enjoy the splendor of being alive and awake, free from the haze of alcohol, and enriched with the unique blend of ingredients that resonate with natural harmony.

A Drink for Slowing Down

Aplós Calme contains broad-spectrum hemp extract, a source of non-intoxicating cannabinoids that harmonize with your body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). This interaction can support healthy sleep patterns and a sense of balance and tranquility throughout the body — without the negative effects often associated with alcohol consumption.

Infused with bright and citrus notes, Calme’s refreshing taste complements its soothing nature. Calme embraces botanical wellness to craft a soothing and luxurious experience as a non-alcoholic functional spirit. The result is a beverage that supports healthy sleep and relaxation while enhancing the beauty of the present moment.

Whether you're unwinding after a long day or seeking a companion for introspective evenings, Aplós Calme is an ally in your pursuit of calm, adding a touch of magic to every sip.

Embrace Wellness With Aplós

Exploring alcohol's effect on our sleep and vitality reveals a landscape marked by contrasts. On one side, we see the momentary relief and perceived relaxation that a glass of alcohol can bring. Conversely, the resulting tiredness and disrupted sleep illuminate the cost of this temporary solace.

In this landscape of contrasts, Aplós emerges as a beacon of mindful enjoyment, offering alternatives that align with our natural rhythms. Aplós Arise invigorates the senses without the lethargy often associated with alcohol, brightening your connection to the present moment. Meanwhile, Aplós Calme gracefully prepares the mind for rest, unfurling into a night of undisturbed slumber.

Together, Arise and Calme weave a path to wellness that celebrates the authentic beauty of our days and nights, allowing you to enjoy life's pleasures without sacrificing balance and clarity. Embrace Aplós, and explore a world where every experience is an invitation to well-being.


A review on alcohol: from the central action mechanism to chemical dependency | PMC

Content: Alcohol Disrupts the Communication Between Neurons | Duke

The role of GABAA receptors in mediating the effects of alcohol in the central nervous system | PMC

Mechanism of Dehydration Following Alcohol Ingestion | JAMA Internal Medicine

What is REM Sleep and How Much Do You Need? | Sleep Foundation

Disturbed Sleep and Its Relationship to Alcohol Use | PMC

What are Adaptogens & Types | Cleveland Clinic

The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious | Harvard Health

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