Why alcohol is a bad sedative and sleeping pill

Alcohol and https://pillintrip.com/de/search_analog_kaliumiodid-65-mg-armeeapotheke_in_austria is popularly called either jokingly or seriously as the cheapest and most affordable tranquilizer. Surely among our readers there will also be those who at least once in their life relieved stress or lifted their spirits with “one hundred grams”. Alcohol does indeed have sedative, anti-anxiety and relaxing effects. Red wine and beer are the best relievers. It was these drinks that were named as relaxants by more than half of the respondents to a large-scale study, in which about 30 thousand people from 21 countries of the world took part. Still, drinking alcohol as a “sedative” is not an idea. Why? We learned from the chief physician of the Minsk City Clinical Narcological Dispensary, Alexander Alishevich.

How alcohol soothes

The brain is one of the first to fall under the influence of alcohol. It has been proven that ethanol can be found in brain cells as early as 2 minutes after the start of use. And if, for example, you drink wine, keeping it in your mouth and savoring the taste, distilling a drink from one cheek to another, alcohol will enter the brain even faster.

Alcohol affects the same benzodiazepine receptors in the brain as tranquilizers. Hence the similar effects. But there is one essential detail. Alcohol is not a medicine that is taken in strictly dosed drops. In this case, the effect of sedation is manifested only at the very beginning and with extremely small doses of alcohol. There is always a lot of alcohol (at least a glass or a glass, and then, as it goes). In this case, the destructive effect on the membranes of neurons comes to the fore.
In “non-therapeutic” doses, the effect of alcohol is biphasic. During the first phase, the so-called inhibitory neurons of the nervous system are turned off. In life, this is manifested by the fact that a shy person, after a dose of alcohol, suddenly becomes the soul of the company, a silent person opens the gift of eloquence, etc. This is the disinhibition effect of alcohol. If you do not continue drinking after this, the body will gradually “neutralize”, process and remove ethanol. And as he sober up, the shy silent person will again withdraw into himself. If the feast continues and the concentration of alcohol increases, the next phase begins – a depressant one.

This is manifested by the suppression of the functions of the central nervous system. The higher the concentration of alcohol, the more pronounced its depressing effect: breathing becomes less frequent. The activity of the cardiovascular system weakens. At critical doses of alcohol, this can lead to respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest. But it is impossible to calculate at least an approximate volume of alcohol, which causes the transition of its action from one phase to another, for one simple reason. It all depends on the individual characteristics of each individual person: his age, sex, weight, height, individual susceptibility to ethanol, health status, hormonal balance in the body and much more.

Alcohol and sleep problems

Even more controversial is the effect of alcohol as a sleeping pill. On the one hand, ethanol causes drowsiness, since it affects the synthesis of hormones and substances that maintain a vigorous state. The soothing and relaxing effects are also conducive to falling asleep. In the phase of oppression, the person is more likely to “turn off” than fall asleep. But even without the use of large doses of alcohol and the transition to the depressant phase of its action, a person’s sleep under the influence of alcohol is more superficial, more sensitive to external stimuli.

Alexander Alishevich:

– Sleep proceeds in a strict sequence and duration of different phases, which replace each other. So it is laid by nature for a normal sober organism. When alcohol is consumed, this rhythm, which includes turnover, the duration of sleep phases, is disrupted. As a result, it turns out that alcohol seems to have contributed to the person falling asleep. But the quality of this sleep is much worse, therefore, the body does not reboot. In a drunken person, dreams very often carry nightmarish content. Sleep is often superficial, short, not giving a feeling of rest after awakening.

For people suffering from apnea, drinking alcohol is generally an extremely dangerous undertaking. Considering that in a certain, purely individual for each person concentration, ethanol has a depressing effect on the respiratory center of the brain and suppresses the wake-up reflex when breathing stops, sleep can be eternal. A person simply runs the risk of suffocation.

Alexander Alishevich:

– There is one more nuance why alcohol should not be consumed before bedtime. The fact is that the enzymes that are responsible for the breakdown and elimination of ethanol from the body (alcohol dehydrogenase and acetaldehydrogenase) work effectively when a person is awake. When he falls asleep, enzymes also fall asleep. Accordingly, in the state of sleep, a small dose of alcohol is neutralized, the main one is actually preserved for the time from falling asleep to awakening.