We’ve written a great deal about alcohol addiction on this blog. It’s well established that alcohol addiction is destructive and has ruined many lives. Yet, people still abuse this substance. Part of this chronic abuse is that people forget some of the negative consequences of drinking. They briefly remember the hangover, but it’s the good feeling associated with drinking that people remember most. Therefore, here are three things you typically forget about alcohol that you should remember.

Alcohol Is a Depressant

Alcohol is a Depressant

Image Courtesy of sakhorn38 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is one thing that we always forget. Alcohol is largely associated with lowered inhibitions (allowing people to take unnatural risks) and poor decision making. Yet, we seem to only remember the exciting and fun times this causes. But, let’s not forget that alcohol is actually a natural depressant.

What makes alcohol a depressant? Alcohol slows the functions of your central nervous system. It’s absorbed into your bloodstream and sent all over your body. Alcohol reduces your nerve receptors ability to send messages from the brain to the body. This causes your physical coordination and mental alertness to be negatively altered.

Drinking Alcohol is Like Eating a Cheeseburger

Ever hear of the saying, “Drinking your calories?” That’s because alcohol is very high in calories. A regular 5-ounce glass of wine has 150 calories, while a 12-oz beer or 1.5 oz shot of vodka has 100 calories. If you’re drinking 10 drinks at a time (which is not inconceivable) that’s like eating a Big Mac and a large serving of french fries.

The indirect effect of alcohol to your caloric intake is after you’re done drinking. The post-drinking binges of pizza and burritos is not an uncommon phenomenon. Why is this? Two reasons. One, our lowered inhibitions mean we’re less health conscience. Instead of resisting to fatty temptation like we might sober, we’re inclined to have that third slice of pizza. Secondly, alcohol interferes with appetite control. So all types of food looks much more appetizing and we don’t regulate our portions properly.

Alcohol Reduces Sleep Quality

Alcohol Causes Poor Sleep Quality

Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s imperative that our bodies get the proper amount of sleep. We need to sleep in order to recharge our bodies. But alcohol actually reduces the quality of our sleep, preventing us from feeling refreshed. Instead, we feel even more tired when we wake up.

People forget this fact because passing out is not uncommon with excessive drinking. This might be associated with sleep for some, but it’s much more dangerous. Too much alcohol will cause your body to lose consciousness because alcohol depresses your central nervous system. The lowered heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate will cause your body to shut down and make you pass out.

Alcohol addiction is dangerous. There are many short-term and long-term consequences associated with drinking. It’s important that people understand what the affects of alcohol are and make sure to manage their risk. Knowing these three things people forget about alcohol can help you control your drinking and improve your health.