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Why Alcohol Does Not Aid Relaxation

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 11 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Stress Relaxation Alcohol Stress

There are many of us who enjoy a drink now and again and like the notion that having a drink allows us to relax and feel less stressed than we might normally be. This is a nice idea in theory but unfortunately the truth is less than satisfying.

I’ve had a Drink and Feel Relaxed

This may be the case but the truth is that your mind is allowing your body to think that it has become more relaxed than it actually has. As you are probably aware alcohol has a numbing effect and can numb the senses into believing that they are relaxed when in all reality the individual feels just as stressed as they did before hand only with alcohol taking the proverbial edge off things.

For others however alcohol has the opposite effect and can make them feel even more stressed, depressed even and for some this stress and depression turns to alcohol-fuelled aggression.

I Normally Sleep after a Drink, That Helps Doesn’t it?

The best ways to aid sleep are to think about taking up some kind of meditation or stress management. Where some might see alcohol as a way to manage stress it simply delays the inevitable. Sleeping after a few drinks leads to a night of broken sleep and indeed you may often find yourself waking up feeling as tired, if not more so, than when you lay down. This is because alcohol in quantity acts almost as a sedative which although producing what amounts to sleep is simply rendering the person unconscious for a time. This can sometimes lead to the problem of how much alcohol do you have to drink to bring about this state of ‘artificial sleep’? You may find that the more often you use this method the less effect the alcohol has and thus the more you have to consume. In turn this leads to headaches and can lead to problems with your stomach, digestive system and even your liver.

The Next Day I Feel Tired and Ropey!

This is how most people feel after they have had a sufficient amount of alcohol. The truth is that although alcohol is pleasurable and for the most part people do use as part of their relaxation process, it is not designed to aid sleep or feeling better over a long term. Many of us will awaken the next morning to feel lethargic, nauseous, thick-headed and just as tired as before. This is because the body is working harder than normal in an attempt to get rid of the alcohol and its toxins from the system.

I Drink a Lot When I’m Under Pressure, What Could I Do Instead?

One of the most common causes of alcoholism is the desire by individuals to find relaxation in alcohol. As we have already discussed this simply is not the case and as a result people drink more to try and numb their feelings of anxiety and stress.

A good way to help reduce stress and aid relaxation is to try some form of mediation such as Yoga. There are many organisations and colleges that run courses in Yoga and you can find out more about them from local newspapers and community groups. Also try a milky drink before bedtime, this can aid sleep as can a herbal sedative which can be purchased over the counter from any chemist.

If you do feel that alcohol has become too much a part of your life and is not doing your body or indeed your stress levels any good then it is recommended that you consult with your doctor at your earliest convenience.

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