Monday, December 12, 2011

Food, Drink and Sleep - Nicotine and Alcohol


This is the largest preventable cause of death in our society, yet it still plays a huge part in many people's lives. It is a major cause of cancer in the lungs and heart, heart disease and high blood pressure - the risks are manifold. Smokers might cite suppressed appetite and increased memory ability as bonuses, but the undisputed deterioration of their overall health is a high price to pay. Smokers might also note that the good sleep quality they lack thanks to the nicotine in their body could help them to maintain a good weight and memory recall without a health hazard. Unfortunately, the highly addictive nature of nicotine stops many people make knowledge in the risks. But most folks, pleasant, calming sensation created after the initial intake can turn into a jittery, angst ridden feeling if you don't keep the levels in your body up.

Smokers are statistically more likely to drink more caffeine, which only compounds the side effect of destroying sleep quality. Smoking also affect blood sugar levels, which makes you irritable and prone to sugar cravings. As a stimulant, nicotine acts on the central nervous system and delay sleep as well as increasing the frequency of night time wakings, which results in a light and less refreshing and sleep. Anyone who lives with a heavy smoker and suffers from poor sleep may also be experiencing the effects of passive smoking on their systems.

Life after nicotine

Giving up is hard, but the health benefits were more than outweigh the effort you put in. When inhaled, nicotine quickly stimulates the heart, brain, gastrointestinal tract and adrenaline glands, given the buzz or peak in alertness that comes as a drag on a cigarette. As it is a brain stimulant, it can stop the onset of sleep, but also increase the number of nighttime waking is and shorten the duration of sleep; and remember, if it is affecting your sleep, it will affect that your partner and children, too, as they passively inhale your smoke. Initially, those giving up smoking and experience disturbed sleep from the nicotine withdrawal, but patches and supplements can help ease the transition. Once you're past this point, you will be rewarded with a much deeper and nourishing sleep, as will anyone else in your hole.


A great deal of self deception is at work when people use the term nightcap to describe alcohol. Although, as a sedated, it helps you to fall to sleep by making you feel drowsy, it then proceeds to ruin the rest of you night.

Drinking is a hugely popular aid to relaxation, especially for those working long and strenuous hours. Those who drink on an empty stomach with other sensation quicker, as drinking with after food and delay it affects up to an hour and a half. How tired you are when you start drinking is also important. After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, free drinks will have the same effect on your body six would have on a regular night. If you find a sedated affect more pronounced after drinking during the day, this is because it exaggerates the natural urban flow of your circadian rhythm. The energy law you fill in the afternoon becomes more alert in the evening, such as effects are less dramatic.

We all know the general result of drinking, but his impact on sleep is often ignored. Even a small amount of alcohol can change the type of sleep ability we have. REM sleep and the length of sleep we have are reduced, with more wakings and shallow sleep, which results in an un-refreshing sleep. It also has a detrimental effect on sleep conditions, such as apnoea and snoring, making both more pronounced. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means it encourages you to urinate, which is never welcome when you are trying to sleep.

Life after alcohol

The benefits of regularly drinking a small amount of alcohol, such as a glass of red wine with a meal, are well recognised - the wine contains antioxidant properties and plays a role in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. If drinking plays a larger part in your life, however, you must allow your liver at least four days off a week in order for it to recover and clear out the toxins. Nights off will also allow you to attain deeper, more refreshing sleep, giving you the chance to clear the sleep deficit it inflicts. You will also see the benefit to your skin as Ibex and skin problems caused by drinking will clear. And don't forget the essential glass of water between drinks; avoiding the hydration. You wake at 4 AM, desperate for a glass of water, then finding yourself unable to get back to sleep.


In all its forms, sugar can play havoc with our sleep patterns. This is mainly because our blood sugar levels can crash after a big dose of stuff, leaving is even more tired, and hunting around for another snack it was a quick energy fix, often washed down with our old friend caffeine. This cycle can leave us too fatigued to make a substantial dinner for ourselves, even if we feel ravenous, and this is where convenience food comes in with even more hidden sugars and chemical sweeteners. And so the cycle continues.

Life after sugar

Cutting down on sugar means committing to eating foods in their natural state. This means avoiding processed foods and weaning our sweet tooth on the more natural sugars, such as honey (in moderation). Balancing out the peaks and troughs of blood sugar can aid in weight loss, as we are not overheating and always hurtling from one unhealthy food fix to another, and balance our energy and concentration levels. This would mean you arrive at bedtime ready for a good nights sleep. The key to healthy snacking is to be prepared; a bag of roasted pumpkin seeds in your bag, a fruit bowl on your desk, or make them easier options then finding a vending machine full of energy sapping sugar and salty snacks. Integrates with a day rather and find yourself suddenly starving and willing to eat whatever you can find (it's always easier to find junk food). Little and often is best,. You suddenly obsessing about what to have mid-morning.

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