A night of boozing is all fun and games… until you wake up painfully early the next morning.
You go to sleep – praying for a long lie-in – after a night on the town or after a few glasses of red, only to wake up at the crack of dawn feeling unpleasantly hungover.
It’s a pretty common phenomenon, all to do with the many effects alcohol has on the body.
So, what’s behind the early wake-up call?
Why do I wake up early after drinking?
There are a few factors at play, affecting your post-booze sleep.
If you wake up super early (or multiple times through the night) needing to pee, then you know your bladder is likely the culprit.
Alcohol is a diuretic, says DrinkAware, making the body dehydrated by inhibiting the production of hormone vasopressin.
This hormone gives a signal to your kidneys to reabsorb water – but without it, the body’s water keeps flushing out through the bladder, resulting in more urine than usual.
That means even if you wake up to pee after drinking alcohol, you could still be dehydrated.
As DrinkAware warns: ‘Alcohol makes us pee more and more frequently, and fluid leaving our bodies at this rate can lead to dehydration if not replaced.’
Something called a ‘glutamine rebound’ could be the culprit, too.
L-Glutamine is the body’s most prevalent amino acid, needed to make proteins, glucose and even other types of amino acid.
When you’re drinking, production of L-Glutamine stops. And when you put the booze down, it starts again – increasing the amount and becoming a sort of stimulant.
Pharmacist John Mansour told US magazine Shape: ‘When you drink, your body stops producing glutamine but doesn’t stop using it.
‘When the alcohol is cleared, your body realises it’s lacking glutamine in a major way, and this causes your body to quickly produce and distribute glutamine through the body to make up for the imbalance.’
Finally, it could just be that your boozy adventures have interrupted your natural sleep rhythm, according to the Sleep Foundation.
In a nutshell: alcohol consumption can suppresses the less-deep type of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) early on in the night.
As a result, you’ll get more of it towards the end of the night – and therefore less of the all-important ‘deep sleep’ (also called ‘slow wave sleep’) we need to feel rested overall.