Why do you have nightmares from a hangover? How alcohol affects the human brain

Surely the question: “Why do nightmares have nightmares?” occurred in every person who at least once showed excessive enthusiasm for alcoholic beverages.

In fact, alcohol affects everyone in different ways - in some it causes insomnia, in others - a sound sleep. But most often, nevertheless, a passion for alcohol is fraught with a violation of the quality of sleep and the appearance of nightmares in visions. What is the reason for this?

The specifics of psychophysiology

You should start with this topic. Sleep is a physiological process by which the body relaxes and recovers. At these moments in the mind there are a variety of images, called dreams.

Most often a person does not realize that he is sleeping, and therefore perceives everything that he sees as reality. But some people have lucid dreams. They understand that they are sleeping, and what is happening has nothing to do with reality.

In other words, sleep is a functional specific state of the nervous system and the whole organism as a whole, which is characterized by certain behavioral manifestations at the psychophysiological level.

why do you have nightmares from a hangover

Night rest after a drink

Before discussing why nightmares have nightmares, you need to clarify that in 89% of cases alcohol dies in a dream.

And in the vast majority of cases, these are not those people who have long suffered from alcohol addiction, but “moderately” and occasionally drinkers who prefer not only strong drinks, but also with a low content of alcohol. Due to alcohol, about the same number of people die as in an accident.

So, dream specialists, known as somnologists, distinguish the following important sleep functions:

  • Rest of the body and recovery from the loads received during the day.
  • Fighting diseases and restoring immunity.
  • Adaptation to daylight.
  • Consolidation of information received during the day.

None of the functions are performed if a person had drunk the day before. The drunk is sleeping, but his brain is not. That is why people wake up with a hangover tired, frustrated, feeling disgusting.

nightmares of reason

Impaired brain activity

This is one of the reasons nightmares come from a hangover. What to do in this case? Refuse alcohol and consult a doctor for help. But for starters, deal with the reason.

A person goes to bed, but the brain's performance during the period when he is resting does not stop. If he took a sip of alcohol on the eve, then problems arise.

Although they make themselves felt before bedtime. Outrageous behavior, slurred speech, shaky gait - these key signs of intoxication alone indicate the destructive effect of ethanol on the brain. But at the physiological level there are many more.

There is a certain barrier between the brain and blood that protects it from the ingestion of metabolic products, viruses and bacteria. But not from ethyl alcohol. After all, it is a powerful solvent that easily penetrates anywhere through any barriers and membranes.

Immediately after drinking, the negative effects of alcohol begin, and the brain immediately lends itself to its influence. Not only structures are damaged, but also vessels. They expand, and then sharply narrow. This may not be fraught with nightmares, but with a stroke and severe disability.

drunk sleeping

Mental problems

Continuing to talk about why nightmares have nightmares, you need to touch on this reason. Not only sick people, but also healthy ones can be affected by drinking. In this case, alcohol negatively affects the state of the nervous system, as a result of which stress resistance decreases.

Intoxication is a peculiar reaction of the body to ethyl alcohol. What then are the nightmares that come off after that? The most obvious manifestation of a mental disorder that develops against a background of addiction.

I would also like to note that along with binges, violations related to metabolic processes also develop. The result is a mental disorder that provokes restless sleep. As a rule, nightmares or insomnia occur. If a drunken man sleeps after delirium tremens, then he always dreams of frightening stories - it can be monsters, chases, pursuits, wild animals.


Since it is about why nightmares are a nightmare, you need to pay a little attention to this very common reason.

Apnea is a condition in which pulmonary ventilation stops during sleep, and it lasts more than 10 seconds (more often - 20-30).

Why it happens is easy to guess. Alcohol affects the respiratory system, its excessive use can lead to temporary closure of the respiratory centers, which is fraught with oxygen deficiency.

What happens next? Lack of oxygen provokes stress, and it contributes to the release of adrenaline. As a result, the heartbeat speeds up, and the body signals the need to get out of sleep. This is the only way to restore normal breathing.

At such moments, there is an intense effect of alcohol on the brain. The appearance of apnea is accompanied by the appearance of frightening pictures in a dream. A person can see fires, tsunamis, an earthquake - all the conditions in which he is on the verge of death. Often a nightmare can save him from death in real life from apnea.

drunk dream nightmares

Other cases

So, if a person has nightmares, the reason most likely lies in one of the previously mentioned factors. Sometimes, of course, terrible dreams are justified - as a means of relieving stress and unloading the nervous system. In this case, you need to perceive them as a kind of protective mechanism of the psyche.

You do not need to pay attention to them if they appear rarely. However, regular nightmares with a realistic, vibrant character are a signal from the nervous system, indicating the presence of some health problems. Or about an increased level of stress and psychological problems.

By the way, very often people are carried away by a strong drink with the goal of avoiding life's turmoil, relaxation and oblivion. Well, the effect of alcohols on the human body is manifested in this, it is difficult to argue. But only after a while the tension is not something that returns - it intensifies. And the excess of the individual norm is dangerous not by relaxation, but by even more obvious excitation of the nervous system.

If a person falls asleep in a state of hangover, there will be consequences. The tension will intensify precisely with nightmares.

having a hangover nightmares what to do

Oxygen starvation

So, based on the foregoing, we can understand why a person, when he has drunk, has nightmares. Now it’s worth briefly telling about other consequences. One of these is oxygen starvation.

In simple words, regular use of strong drinks just “kills” brain cells. This process is reversible only if the effect of alcohol is short-lived and the capillaries are not damaged.

Ethyl alcohol simply “blocks” the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain cells. The result is hypoxia, due to which the structure gradually dies. One serving of alcohol is enough to destroy 8,000 cells. This is fraught with a decrease in brain volume, the formation of scars, ulcers and microscopic hemorrhages.

All this is manifested in human behavior. Neurons die off - moral principles are lost, the work of the vestibular apparatus is disrupted, partial amnesia occurs.

alcohol and brain

Cerebral changes

They are always fraught with the consumption of high doses of alcohol. If a person is addicted to alcohol, then the functions of the cerebral cortex are inhibited. The result is a destructive personality change, which is manifested by the complete destruction of moral and moral norms.

The activity of the occipital lobe is also disrupted. This is fraught with vestibular dysfunction, manifested by a violation of coordination of movements.

Even over time, memory deteriorates significantly and cognitive function decreases. In simple and understandable language, a person simply degrades. Among other consequences, encephalopathy, Korsakov’s disease, dementia, polyneuritis, depletion of the muscular system, etc. are often added.

Mental disorders

Often they are formed due to the toxic effects of alcohol. Neurosis, psychosis and other disorders of the psycho-emotional sphere very often manifest precisely at the time of intoxication. Especially with binges. Their appearance can also provoke a sharp rejection of the potion.

These are serious consequences. Neurosis is fraught with fatigue, not passing irritability and insomnia. Delirium, called delirium tremens, is completely dangerous for both drunk and others.

Hallucinosis is all the more serious cause for concern. Staying in this state, a drunk can commit murder, suicide, arson, etc. And alcoholism is fraught with paranoid psychosis, which is a delusional disorder, accompanied by a persecution mania.

the effect of alcohols on the human body

How to regain health?

It is not so easy to get rid of the toxic effects of alcohol, especially if it has been used for a long time. But, nevertheless, it is possible. Here's what you need to do:

  • Completely give up alcohol.
  • Undergo a detoxification procedure aimed at cleansing the body of ethanol decay products.
  • Start eating right, diversify your diet with herbs, vegetables, fruits.
  • Take vitamin complexes that can strengthen overall well-being and return to a normal lifestyle in a short time.
  • To bring physical activity, start playing sports, strengthen muscles. This will help improve overall health, the state of the respiratory system and blood vessels.

If alcoholism has led to the formation of pathologies, it will be necessary to tackle their treatment. Be sure to avoid stress, relax fully. In especially advanced cases, the renewal of brain cells is recommended, for which the neurogenesis method is used.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/A13067/

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