Alcohol & the Bedroom: Facts & Myths
Alcohol has a reputation for improving sleep, libido, and sex—but what’s the truth about drinking and the bedroom?
The Impact of Alcohol on Sleep
Put down that nightcap. America is sleep deprived, and alcohol isn’t helping.
According to National Sleep Foundation studies, 20 percent of Americans sleep less than six hours a night, and sleep disorders are on the rise. Without healthy sleep, we have trouble thinking, performing cognitive tasks, and cementing memories. Sleep deprivation also kills sex drive and contributes to clinical depression. And, if that weren’t enough, lack of sleep makes us look older, faster.
Myth: Alcohol helps you sleep better.
Fact: Alcohol reduces the time it takes to fall asleep.
Alcohol has a reputation as a sleep aid, but that’s not the whole story. A drink or two may allow you to fall asleep faster, but it disrupts the REM cycles that leave you refreshed. Drinking also:
- Disrupts your body’s circadian rhythms, which impact memory, cognition, and emotional stability.
- Acts as a diuretic, forcing you to get up to pee more often.
- Depresses the respiratory system, making you more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.
Lack of sleep can also put a damper on your sex life. Sleep deprivation causes what one California State University researcher calls “tense tiredness,” which can lead to a lack of sexual interest and a reduction in sexual performance.
Additional Impacts of Drinking on Sex
Alcohol is not the aphrodisiac it’s cracked up to be. While one or two drinks may act as a social lubricant, drinking can also have dangerous sexual repercussions.
Myth: Alcohol boosts my sex drive.
Fact: Drinking lowers inhibitions and leads to poor decision-making.
You may feel more “relaxed” and open to sex when you are drinking, but studies show that alcohol decreases erection and orgasm. In more regrettable cases, people wearing beer goggles don’t put proper sexual boundaries in place. They are more prone to:
- Ruin marriages & relationships
- Engage in casual one-night stands
- Have unprotected sex with one or multiple partners
- Contract an STD
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