Alcohol has become a huge part of American culture and now the center of many social events, both personal and professional. Alcohol is also used as a means to boost confidence, wind down after a long day, and even used by some when confronted with large crowds. But how often do we stop to think about the actual effects of alcohol? And are there alternatives?
Alcohol is in a class of drugs called sedatives. But sedation is not sleep. And studies teach us that those two things are really quite different. Sedation is a case where we're simply switching off the firing of the brain cells, particularly in the cortex. And that's not natural sleep. In fact, during deep non-rapid eye movement sleep, for example, the brain remarkably coordinates hundreds of thousands of cells that all of a sudden fire together, and then all go silent, and then fire together, and then go silent -- producing big, powerful brainwaves of deep non-REM sleep. And that's the first way in which alcohol can be problematic. We're mistaking sedation for deep sleep.
The second problem with alcohol is that it can actually fragment your sleep. Alcohol can actually trigger and activate during sleep what is referred to as the fight or flight branch of the nervous system, which will therefore wake you up more frequently throughout the night. And alcohol can even increase the amount of alerting chemicals that are released by the brain, once again fragmenting your sleep.
The third and final issue with alcohol and sleep is that alcohol can actually block your rapid eye movement, or your dream sleep. This REM sleep, provides a collection of benefits, things such as emotional and mental health, even creativity.
Drinking can make you forget new information -- even if the drinking happens days after the learning took place. The loss of REM sleep removes the levelheaded ability to read the social world accurately. REM sleep is also imperative for effective problem-solving. One paper found that students who had about 9 drinks a week, on average, already had a harder time with a word-related memory task. Another study has seemingly affirmed with sleep link, showing that college students who drink more sleep later, are sleepier in the daytime, and do worse on tests.
Studies show that alcohol consumption contributes to systemic inflammation by interfering with the body's natural gut microbiota. It impairs the balance of microflora in the gut, the gut barrier function, the liver's ability to detox bacterial products, and the brain's ability to regulate inflammation. When these natural defenses are impaired, systemic inflammation occurs. Because of this, it is not uncommon for those who regularly consume alcohol to also have chronic pain and/or injuries, perpetual illness, and low energy levels.
Alcohol consumption can also impact your performance at the gum. Due to the mini-awakenings that occur during sleep after the consumption of alcohol, the secretion of growth hormone is also affected. Human growth hormone, which is naturally secreted during sleep around 2:00 am helps maintain, build, and repair healthy tissues in the brain and other organs. It is a crucial part of healing after an injury as well as muscle repair after exercise and is essential to build muscle mass, boost metabolism, and burn fat. If your goals are increasing strength and performance in the gym or maintaining muscle mass, you may want to think twice about your alcohol consumption.
If your health and fitness goals revolve around losing weight, decreasing alcohol consumption may be something to consider. Not only does it make it difficult to remain in calorie deficit, but it also can lead to poor behavioral choices. Additionally, alcohol negatively affects your pancreas, which as 2 main functions: an endocrine function that regulates blood sugar as well as an exocrine function that helps with digestion. When the pancreas and liver are not functioning properly, the risk of blood sugar dysregulation becomes high. When it comes to weight loss, energy balance and blood sugar regulation is extremely important.
Nope - just one that involves more choice and balance. The truth is that we’ve gone through our ups and downs with alcohol. We love a great cocktail. We love going out with friends. And we love having a cocktail in hand. But what we have learned is that, it’s not always the alcohol that makes the moment and that there are times when alcohol is right and times where it’s not.
Shift Edibles are for the curious spirits those who value choice without sacrificing the quality of their experience. And for those who are looking to take their experiences to the next level; a way that aligns with achieving even more of life’s goals and enjoying all of our aliveness. Give it a try with our limited time promotion code for 20% off your Shift order using 'ilovefall'.
Note: There are small amounts of variation in our batches and testing may vary between labs. Do not use if pregnant, nursing, or if you have any diagnosed for undiagnosed health conditions. Consult a physician prior to use. Must be 21 years or older to purchase or use. Must be legal in your state or territory to purchase or use. Shift is not responsible for the actions of individuals who take this product. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while using this product. May cause drowsiness. Use could cause you to fail a drug test. May have a delayed effect. Store in a cool place. Keep out of reach of children and pets. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.