Will a glass of red wine help with insomnia

Will a glass of red wine help with sleep?

Plato may have been wiser than he knew when he said, “Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the Gods to man.” Those of us who have come to enjoy the variety and tastes that wine have to offer can now look to red wines for greater health benefits. Recent studies show that drinking one glass of red wine every day may have certain health benefits. Research indicates that moderate red wine drinking may help protect against certain cancers and heart disease, and can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

The antioxidants in red wines have been shown to provide certain health benefits. Antioxidants act like warriors, preventing the oxidation process whereby reactive particles known as “free radicals” cause damage to healthy cells. For the moderate drinker, drinking one to two glasses of wine daily, the antioxidants in red wine offer some protection against heart disease.

Liver cirrhosis as a result of alcohol abuse is one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States. Individuals with a family history of alcohol problems should not begin drinking in response to any positive studies of the benefits of red wine, nor should those with pre-existing health conditions, including:

•    high blood pressure
•    arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats
•    liver disease
•    stomach ulcers
•    severe acid reflux
•    sleep apnea

In sleep apnea, with each period of breathlessness (as many as twenty in an hour) the carbon dioxide level in the blood rises and there is a corresponding decrease in the blood oxygen levels.  This, along with the stress and the struggle to draw breath, puts a strain on the heart.

In pure central sleep apnea, the brain’s respiratory control centers are out of balance during sleep. Carbon dioxide blood levels and the feedback monitor do not react quickly enough to maintain an even respiratory rate, and the entire system goes between apnea and hyperpnea.  The sleeper stops breathing, and then starts again. There is no effort made to breathe during the pause in breathing and there is no chest movements and no struggling.  After this spell of apnea, breathing may be faster for a period of time, to blow off retained waste gases and breathe more oxygen.

So, will a glass of wine help with sleep – yes, but more than that can cause serious sleep disorders.


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