Research shows that despite the best efforts of public health groups, alcohol consumption is still on the rise. Even in an era when practically everyone knows and acknowledges the way in which excessive alcohol consumption can be extremely detrimental to health, expert advice is for the most part being ignored entirely.
One of the biggest problems is the way in which so many people find it difficult to grasp the concept of problem drinking not beginning and ending with alcoholism. You don’t have to find yourself in a position where you are looking into local residential rehab centres for alcoholics to have and unhealthy alcohol habit – the simple fact of the matter is that far too many are drinking far too much.
Science has taught us that drinking in extremely strict and sensible moderation doesn’t necessarily have to be particularly harmful. Nevertheless, guidelines tend to be overlooked, ignored or replaced with a variety of common excuses used to justify alcohol consumption.
The only problem being, in most cases when you think alcohol is doing you a favour, it’s actually doing you a real disservice.
Alcohol in Relation to Sleep
First of all, one of the most common reasons of all for justifying that extra drink here and there is to assist with a restful sleep. It’s of course no secret that alcohol is associated with feelings of sleepiness and lethargy – the fact that it is a depressant pretty much explains why this is the case. Nevertheless, despite the fact that drinking alcohol does indeed have the potential to help an individual fall asleep faster, this doesn’t in any way mean that the sleep they get will be beneficial or healthy. In fact it’s actually quite to the contrary, as alcohol assisted sleep sends a person into deep sleep during the first half of the night and can have an effect on rapid eye movement. Long story short, the kind of sleep you get with the help of alcohol can be less satisfying than little to no sleep at all.
Alcohol in Relation to Stress
People drink to deal with stress – some have the occasional drink here and there, others drink excessively to escape their problems. The trouble is, alcohol has the potential to do a fantastic job of both numbing stress and putting problems on hold, but when you think about it, this isn’t actually doing anything whatsoever to combat the problem. Whatever it is that you are stressed, anxious or worried about, you will only be increasingly stressed and anxious when the effects of the alcohol wear off. The more you drink, the worse the problems become and less capable you yourself become to handle them. Alcohol doesn’t help with stress – it simply puts it on hold temporarily.
Alcohol in Relation to Depression
Alcohol is often turned to by those suffering both temporary and chronic depression, as a means by which to escape unpleasant and unwanted feelings at least for a little while. Which once again is something that can be accomplished, but just as is the case with stress and anxiety, things will only end up considerably worse when the alcohol wears off. It isn’t just a psychological thing either – the way in which the brain and body respond to alcohol means that the root-cause of depression will only ever be exacerbated by alcohol use. When you weigh up the effects at the time of drinking against those when the alcohol wears off, it is a trade that simply isn’t worth making.
Alcohol and Inhibitions
Last but not least, alcohol has always been associated with a certain kind of temporary confidence the likes of which will be absolutely impossible to attain during sobriety. This is of course especially so in individuals who may lack confidence or not be particularly outgoing, and who routinely turn to alcohol in social situations. In this instance, there’s really no disputing the way in which alcohol can turn somebody who is shy and retiring into the most outgoing and perhaps overly confident person imaginable. Which is all well and good, apart from two things. First of all, your new personality will be both short lived and anything but the real you, which in turn means that even if you do make any good impressions, they won’t last long. Secondly, it will be painfully obvious to everyone around you that the only reason you are acting the way you are is because you are under the influence of alcohol. And when the dust settles and the alcohol wears off, you’ll only ever find yourself with even more crippling inhibitions than you had before.