The Effects of Alcohol

After going nearly a year without a drop of booze (not including the one drink on my birthday and the two for my engagement, but hey, those don’t count), I decided to tie one on twice in the past few weeks.  One conclusion that can immediately be made is:

Drinking is more fun than not drinking.

     However, since the last time I threw down my weight in whisky, I began wearing an Oura ring every day and tracking my sleep, activity, and recovery.  It’s fascinating to do a hard workout, have a night of little sleep, or night out raging and see the effects the next morning.

While in general, my heart rate ranges between 47 and 50 beats per minute while sleeping, the booze brought that up to the low 60s.  My HRV (heart rate variability) is generally in the high 30s and after throwing down enough Manhattans to kill a sailor, was 15 both nights (for HRV, higher is better).

Certainly, heart rate isn’t everything (so long as you have one) so I wanted to check my sleep quality.  Surely, I slept like a bear.  While I crashed when I hit the mattress, and slept in later than I have in many moons, my REM and deep sleep told a very different sleep.  Despite sleeping for almost 9 hours, my deep sleep was a whopping 5 MINUTES!  That’s no bueno since sober Rick gets at least an hour per 8 hours slept.  REM sleep was essentially non-existent too.

Now, the interesting thing was what happened this Sunday.  Out to dinner with Kelly and another couple, I decided to enjoy a nice glass of Guiness.  Kept it to only one.  Something flavorful to sip while consuming a traditional Cobb salad with all the fixings.  After waking the next morning, I checked the stats on the old Oura ring and it rang up the same as usual.  No difference in sleep quality or HRV than zero drinks.

Next time, I’ll test two and see if there’s any change.


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