How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?
Some might find it interesting to know that moderate alcohol consumption actually has some benefits, but the problem, however, is when you fail to keep this consumption moderate. Chances are you consider yourself a moderate drinker, believing you are responsible for your alcohol consumption, without knowing that your ‘simple’ one or two or three glasses of drink has slipped into something harmful.
Drinking vodka, whiskey, wine and more excessively fall under too much alcohol consumption.
Signs you are drinking too much alcohol
CONSTANTLY NEEDING TO PEE AT NIGHT
The human body makes something known as an anti-diuretic hormone to regulate the amount of urine in our bodies. At night, more of this hormone is produced to help reduce the volume of urine produced so you wouldn’t have to pee so much or at all in the night. Alcohol decreases the production of this hormone and causes you to produce more urine, which therefore makes you wake up to pee constantly at night.
If you are under 65, even if you naturally drink a lot of fluids like water, fruits etc during the day, at night you really shouldn’t have to wake up to pee. If you do have to wake up to pee, maybe only once; but definitely not every night. If you notice this constant need to pee every night, check your alcohol consumption, it might be the cause.
REGULARLY WAKING UP WITH DRY EYES
Alcohol dehydrates your entire body and also ends up in your tears, interfering with the lubrication of your eyes. When you notice that your eyes become sticky and you regularly wake up with dry eyes, check that your alcohol intake isn’t to blame.
SPENDING TIME IN THE DAY THINKING OF HAVING A DRINK
You might not necessarily be drinking multiple glasses of drinks all day, but if the thought of a glass of drink is what gets you through the day or any difficult situation, that’s a warning sign. Your mantra becomes, “When I get home, I can have a drink”, “Let me just deal with this and I can have a drink” etc. Using alcohol to self-medicate depression or anxiety, only ends up making things worse because alcohol is a depressant itself.
NOT SLEEPING WELL
Constant alcohol consumption, especially when in excess, can cause your brain to forget how to sleep efficiently and causes fragmented sleep cycles. You, thus, tend to miss out on the ‘restorative’ parts of your sleep, even on nights you haven’t even had a drink.
TIREDNESS AND FORGETFULNESS
While in your body, alcohol becomes a stimulant when the body breaks it down. In the process, it releases sugars and other substances that cause you to wake up more and most times stops you from getting into REM (the most active part of sleep), which is very important for helping the brain to process mood and for memory. Without getting enough REM, you wake up feeling more grumpy, tired and forgetful.
BEING ABLE TO HOLD YOUR DRINK
While most people are cheered for this, being able to have a couple of drinks without feeling tipsy is a sign that you are drinking regularly. You are thus able to ‘hold your drink’ because your body has built up a tolerance to the short-term effects of alcohol. The process of your body building up this tolerance increases the production of enzymes that break down the alcohol and in the long-term increases the risk of liver damage.
PEOPLE CLOSE TO YOU ARE CONCERNED
If your friends, family, co-workers or anyone close to you has hinted or voiced out that it’s time to cut back your alcohol consumption, you should listen. You can ask for their help in helping you cut back and think of ways they can help to hold you accountable.