We all like a beer to unwind after a long shift, drinking alcohol late at night impacts sleep quality, so why not try a low/no alternative?
One of the saving graces of working in the hospitality industry is that, after hours upon hours of watching other people getting drunk and having fun, you get to sit down and have a drink after the end of your shift. Nearly all hospitality businesses offer some kind of post-shift refreshment for their staff, and this time represents the chance to unwind, relax and decompress properly before heading home to bed after a long night’s work.
However, the danger is that one drink quickly becomes two, three or four, and before you know it, you’re making plans to hit up one of the other late night venues in town to continue the party late into the night. You stumble home in the early hours of the morning, eventually crashing out on your bed when the shift itself is but a distant memory.
The problem with this kind of activity, fun though it may seem at the time, is that when you wake up just a few hours later, you’re unlikely to be feeling any kind of fresh ahead of your shift again the following evening. Although the occasional drink might help you to nod off at night, alcohol in excessive quantities can affect the quality of your sleep, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.
According to research from Alcohol Concern, when you drink alcohol before bed you may fall into deep sleep quicker. However, as the night goes on, and you continue to stay in this deep sleep, instead of the more restful, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, you will be getting less rest than you need. This can leave you feeling tired the next day no matter how long you stay in bed.
Furthermore, alcohol also acts as a diuretic, which makes it more likely that you will wake in the night to use the bathroom, and the body will lose extra fluid through sweat too, making you dehydrated. It can also make you snore more loudly, which may disrupt your sleep further.
In summary then, too much alcohol before bedtime is a recipe for a bad night’s sleep. One alternative for hospitality workers who still want to unwind after their shift, could be to try one of the rapidly growing ow/no alcohol alternatives in the beer category.
With a growing interest in flavour, and a range of styles now available across the marketplace, the days of a sad looking Beck’s Blue gathering dust at the back of the fridge are long gone. From dedicated low/no alcohol breweries such as Nirvarna, Infinite Session and Big Drop Brewing Co, to low/no variants of popular brands such as Heineken and Peroni, there is enough choice to satisfy even the most curious of beer drinkers.
By drinking a low/no alcohol beer after work, bartenders, FOH staff, chefs and other hospitality staff can still relax and unwind, without the danger of ending up with a poor night’s sleep and a hangover the following day as a result.