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Last updated on Thursday, August 25, 2011
(UNDATED) - An Indiana family practice doctor is shedding light on a new study about alcohol and insomnia.
The study by U.S. and Japanese researchers monitored alcohol, sleep and heart rate variables. It finds that alcohol interferes with the restorative functions of sleep and can actually cause insomnia.
Dr. Millicent Moye says alcohol can interfere with the stages of sleep, REM which is dreaming sleep and non-REM which is the deep sleep stage. Moye says alcohol causes bodily changes and decreases deep sleep. She says it can decrease muscle tone in the throat and aggravate sleep apnea.
Dr. Moye says it takes more alcohol consumption to get the same calming effect which compounds the problem. The doctor says one small glass of wine well before bedtime is probably fine, but alcohol used as a sleep aid is problematic and people should avoid significant alcohol consumption at least three hours before bedtime.
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