New year, a new you - Goals vs. Commitments - part II

January 8, 2019

Day 7: Should I have a drink to help me sleep?

“Show me the way to go home
I'm tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it's gone right to my head.”

                       —Folksong from 1925


Sounds cozy, doesn't it?

It’s a week into the new year, and I’m struggling. Maybe I should just have a little drink before bedtime, because I’ll sleep better….

The answer is NO.  

The normal rigors of daily stress throw our bodies out of whack. Sleep is the best time to recover. Except once you're asleep, alcohol's interaction with your brain can lead to restlessness, or no sleep at all. Lack of sleep creates hormone imbalances, which in turn lead to even less sleep

When we drink, it takes a bit for our brain to catch up. Over time, as the brain starts reclaiming all its nooks and crannies, it can wreak havoc on crucial REM sleep. We are unable to adapt to ethanol molecules jamming up the receptors and interfering with neuron firings. No neurons firing = no REM sleep = no rest.

Why is REM so important? It’s when our endocrine system helps our bodies recover, meaning our glands produce the hormones to necessary to regulate growth, reproduction, metabolism, tissue rebuilding and recovery—pretty much everything that makes us function day to day. Sleep is crucial in hormone secretion: growth hormone, prolactin, and luteinizing, while other hormones, like cortisol, are inhibited.

Our bodies rely on hormones to react to whatever we are doing. Think of the endocrine as our program within the software. Once the hormones have sent messages out to the specific organs, telling them what to do, the liver's role is to filter out and deactivate those hormones. This leads us to living with a balanced internal system.

Taking a break from the party is a great way to feel good, lose a few unwanted pounds, and gain clarity with ourselves.  

Quick notes:

Alcohol negatively affects HGH production, which regulates many areas of your body.

One serving inhibits HGH by 63%. 2 drinks negatively impacts HGH up to 81%.

Drinking turns you into “a shape” instead of getting you in shape.

A good night of rest means waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Stay the course. . . but if you do stray, don’t kick your own butt about it, enjoy it.

Tips for your enjoying your drink:

  • Go for exactly what you want.

  • Have just one, and appreciate it.

  • Allow a few hours between drinking alcohol and going to bed.

  • Hydrate before, during, and after drinking.


Appreciate yourself while taking the time to have a drink. Go for exactly what you desire. If possible, stay within these guidelines. 


Then get back on the program tomorrow.


Coach B


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