If you’d ask many people, my family included, they would come up with a variety of reasons why I picked up this nasty cold while on my vacation. But the truth is, poor sleep for 17 consecutive days is what did me in. I did this to myself through a variety of mechanisms.
Today in cause # 2: I poisoned my Sleep
You poisoned your sleep? That is rather dramatic, isn’t it? Not really.
Let’s not kid ourselves here. Drinking alcohol is a poison to your system, poison to your mitochondria, to your energy production. There is actually no benefit your body derives from alcohol. Now before all the red wine is good for your heart club members attack, I and others have already displaced that myth long ago, so I am not going to rehash that. This is an area I disagree with, even with some of my mentors. Some might say that alcohol helps you relax and de-stress, so it can play a vital role. Alcohol is a depressant, so yes it can bring you down, it can make you more social, maybe even funnier. I was told this once by a family member, who lamented that I had cut my drinking by a huge margin.
So to be clear, I still drink on occasion, to be more accurate, special occasion, and for me that is a lot narrow definition than for most. I will have maybe 2-3 drinks at a time, once or twice a year, on average.
I don’t share this in any sort of judgement or moral authority, but just to demonstrate how it affected me.
This trip was a different story. I ended up having at least 1 drink on 9 out of 14, non-driving days. So I basically had 3 years worth of alcohol in 2 weeks, and it messed me up.
Why did I let this happen? I tend to enjoy a cold beverage more when it is hot out, and I had terrific weather for my trip. I got to hang out with some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, meet some new friends and visit with distant relatives. Part of it was the social aspect, but to be honest there was a part of FOMO too, when nearly everyone else is partaking in drinking. I do find this much easier to control in my own home environment versus when away on vacation.
You know that I am a huge proponent of individuality and testing. I have poor liver detox functions and don’t break down toxins/ poisons very well, they hang around for a bit. I also know that even one drink messes up my sleep. For me this tends to lead to increased resting heart rates, increased body temperature and increased disturbances…all of which led to a poor night of sleep, particularly deep sleep. All of these metrics were captured via my Oura Ring. So yes, I did end up poisoning my sleep.
Be on the lookout for cause #3 tomorrow.