Coronavirus: Why do we drink more in a crisis?

It’s tempting to drink your worries away but there are healthier ways to manage stress and keep your drinking in check…

In these difficult times, it’s not surprising some people are looking to alcohol for a little stress reduction.

But there are healthier ways of coping with the challenges we currently face.

People who feel stressed tend to drink more than people who are less stressed. In fact, we often see increases in people’s alcohol consumption after catastrophes and natural disasters.

Although alcohol initially helps us relax, after drinking, you can feel even more anxious. 

Alcohol releases chemicals in the brain that block anxiety. But our brain likes to be in balance. 

So after drinking, it reduces the amount of these chemicals to try to get back into pre-drinking balance, increasing feelings of anxiety.

People may also be drinking more alcohol to relieve the boredom that may come with staying at home without much to do.

What happens when we drink more?

Alcohol affects your ability to fight disease

Alcohol impacts the immune system, increasing the risk of illness and infections.

Although the coronavirus is too new for us to know its exact interaction with alcohol, we know from other virus outbreaks drinking affects how your immune system works, making us more susceptible to virus infection.

So, if you have the coronavirus, or are at risk of contracting it, you should limit your alcohol intake to give your immune system the best chance of fighting it off.

The same applies if you have influenza or the common cold this winter.

Alcohol affects your mood

Drinking can affect your mood, making you prone to symptoms of depression and anxiety.

This is because alcohol has a depressant effect on your central nervous system.

But when you stop drinking and the level of alcohol in your blood returns to zero, your nervous system becomes overactive. That can leave you feeling agitated…

Alcohol affects your sleep

Alcohol can disrupt sleep. You may fall asleep more quickly from the sedating effects of alcohol, but as your body processes alcohol, the sedative effects wear off.

You might wake up through the night and find it hard to fall back to sleep (not to mention the potential for snoring or extra nocturnal bathroom trips).

The next day, you can be left feeling increasingly anxious, which can kick-start the process all over again.

We will be continuing more on this topic in our next post…please keep a date with us.

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1 thought on “Coronavirus: Why do we drink more in a crisis?”

  1. Pingback: Coronavirus: Why do we drink more in a crisis? Prt 2 - Health & Beauty 102

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