Does Sleeping Help You Sober Up?
Sleeping does not instantly sober you up. It allows your body time to metabolize alcohol, but it takes about an hour per standard alcoholic drink. While a good cup of coffee, snacking on carbs, consuming energy drinks, or a refreshing cold shower may seem like a remedy to combat alcohol’s effects, it’s important to know the truth. Despite the temporary feeling of alertness, these tricks don’t actually lower your blood alcohol concentration levels or prevent an alcohol overdose.
Do You Get Sober When You Sleep?
It’s not uncommon to reach for the comfort of your pillows, hoping to fast-forward through the drunken haze. But does sleeping truly help you sober up, or is it just another common myth about how to sober up fast?
While sleeping doesn’t make you instantly sober, it does allow your body to metabolize alcohol more effectively. During sleep, your liver can break down alcohol without any new influxes entering your system.
Like a full night’s sleep, napping allows your body to break down alcohol and can assist you to feel more clear-headed.
The Role of Sleep in Sobering Up
Alcohol and sleep have a complicated relationship. It’s not just a matter of drinking, nodding off, and becoming clear-headed when you wake up.
How Sleep Helps Your Body Process Alcohol
Your liver needs about one hour for each standard alcoholic drink you consume is needed by your liver to metabolize it effectively. And when you’re sleeping? That’s prime time for this detoxification process because there’s no new influx of alcohol coming in.
In other words, if moderate quantities constituting binge drinking were consumed before hitting the sack, you will find blood alcohol concentration levels significantly lower than they were prior to bedtime.
However, this doesn’t mean that a large amount of alcohol will magically disappear after some shut-eye. Excessive consumption can still lead to severe consequences, including bad hangovers and even potential alcohol poisoning.
Dangers of Mixing Sleeping Pills and Alcoholic Beverages
Mixing sleep aids with alcoholic drinks might seem like a good idea because of the healing effects of sleep, but such a combination poses serious risks. Both substances are depressants and have sedative effects, intensifying the risk of respiratory distress and overdose.
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation combined with alcohol’s effects results in impaired judgment, reduced coordination, and increased accident risks.
The Science Behind Alcohol Intoxication and Blood Alcohol Concentration
Your liver plays an instrumental role here.
If you consume more alcohol than your liver can handle at once, BAC levels rise, leading to varying degrees of impairment.
Debunking Myths About Sobering Up
In the realm of alcohol consumption, there are many common myths and misconceptions. Two common beliefs involve using coffee or cold showers to hasten sobering up from alcohol intoxication.
Coffee can create an illusion of sobriety by making you feel awake and alert. However, drinking coffee does not decrease one’s blood alcohol content.
Although cold showers may make you feel more alert, they do not reduce blood alcohol concentration levels.
Understanding Binge Drinking and Its Risks
Binge drinking, a term that may seem casual or even celebratory, is anything but. Binge drinking means consuming alcoholic beverages quickly, resulting in BAC levels at or above 0.08 g/dL within two hours.
The faster you drink your alcoholic beverages during a session of binge drinking can cause you to get drunk faster than if spread out over several hours.
Potential For Alcohol Poisoning
Severe intoxication cases can escalate into life-threatening situations like alcohol poisoning.
- Slow, irregular breaths
Practical Tips for Safer Alcohol Consumption
If you choose to consume alcoholic beverages, understanding how to do so safely can help avoid a high blood alcohol concentration level and the associated risks.
Counting your drinks is crucial to prevent drunk driving and DUI charges.
A standard alcoholic drink contains about 14 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol found in:
- About 12 ounces of regular beer (~5% alcohol)
- Around 5 ounces of wine (~12% alcohol)
- Roughly 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits like gin or whiskey (~40% alcohol)
The Importance of Hydration and Eating Well
Beyond counting drinks, staying hydrated during any session involving alcoholic drinks plays an essential role in safer consumption practices.
Non-alcoholic fluids such as a glass of water or electrolyte-rich beverages consumed between each serving mitigate the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Drinking water also assists in dehydration.
Eating before starting any drinking event slows absorption rates, reducing chances for rapid spikes in BAC levels.
Recognizing Signs of Alcohol Abuse
If someone close to you is exhibiting the following signs of alcohol abuse, seek help as soon as possible.
Frequent Blackouts and Unexplained Injuries
Regular blackouts — periods where an individual cannot recall events after heavy drinking sessions despite being conscious during them — can indicate dangerously high blood alcohol concentration levels.
Unexplained injuries often accompany these blackout episodes due to the loss of coordination and balance under severe intoxication, leading to accidents and falls.
Neglecting Responsibilities Due to Drinking
A key sign that your relationship with drink has become unhealthy is when you start neglecting personal and professional obligations because you are too drunk or hungover.
You may miss work frequently, fail to keep up with household chores, and struggle to maintain healthy relationships.
If you consistently choose booze over commitments, it’s time to seek help before things spiral out of control.
Increased Tolerance and Withdrawal Symptoms
An increasing need for larger quantities of alcohol just to feel “normal” is another red flag indicating a potential addiction to alcohol. Feeling harsher effects as a result of alcohol withdrawal is another indicator.
What Is the Best Way to Sober Up from Alcohol?
The most effective way to sober up from alcohol is to give your body time to metabolize it naturally. There are no instant remedies to reduce blood alcohol concentration quickly.
While sleep doesn’t instantly make you sober, it aids in alcohol metabolism. During sleep, the liver breaks down alcohol without new influxes, lowering blood alcohol levels the next day.
At Zinnia Health, our dedicated team is just a call away. If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, it’s time to prioritize wellness and seek assistance. Call (855) 430-9439 for immediate assistance.