Meet the Parents Film Analysis

995 Words4 Pages
Alcohol and Sleep Many insomniacs take a drink of whiskey or wine before bedtime in order to reduce sleep latency. While alcohol does help people get to sleep faster, drinking has been shown to result in low quality of sleep as measured by nighttime awakenings (fragmented sleep) and decreased time spent in REM sleep. After a few drinks, especially in people who don’t drink much, individuals often report subjectively shallow sleep and frequent mid-night awakenings. The effects vary greatly; some people experience sweating (a monkeywrench in the body’s sleep thermoregulation process) and vivid dreams (a characteristic of abrupt transition between stages). Indeed, drinking lowers your body’s core temperature slightly, followed by a rise. In controlled studies with EEG monitoring, researchers have found the REM rebound can occur in the second half of the night. At low doses alcohol has GABA agonist properties – just like most insomnia medications do. The mechanism by which alcohol suppresses REM sleep is not clear. It does not seem to interact with the neurotransmitter adenosine, which known to be important in REM. It seems probable that alcohol’s general depressant properties reduces brain activity that becomes active in REM. Alcohol does inhibit the neurotransmitter glutamate’s entry to NMDA-receptors (one of the brain’s receptors for glutamate) and glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter, so this provides a partial explanation for alcohol’s effect on general brain activity. Sleep-disordered breathing, a dyssomnia affecting millions of people, is made worse by alcohol. There's a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and alcohol consumption. Drinkers can experience apnea if only for a night. Alcohol impairs breathing in sleep by relaxing the throat muscles and it affects the brain's breathing center by masking the effect of low oxygen levels in
Open Document