Why Alcohol Makes Me Sleepy – The Connection Between Alcohol and Sleep – Alcohol is considered a depressant and directly affects the central nervous system. Once alcohol enters the bloodstream, it circulates to the brain, where it proceeds to slow down the firing of neurons.
- 0.1 Does alcohol cause low energy?
- 0.2 What is the witching hour alcoholism?
- 0.3 Do people with ADHD dislike alcohol?
- 0.4 What is a mirror drinker?
- 0.5 Can you be a borderline alcoholic?
- 1 Is it OK to wake up a drunk person?
- 2 How to increase alcohol tolerance?
- 3 How do you not black out when drinking?
Why do alcoholics wake up at 3am?
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Age could also be a factor in disturbed sleep. “As we get older, our sleep efficiency decreases and we have more light stage-one sleep,” says Dr. Sandra Horowitz, a clinical instructor with Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine. Lighter sleep leads to more awakenings. Some medications, particularly beta blockers and other heart meds, can make these age-related sleep disturbances worse, she adds.
There are many other explanations for tossing and turning. Everything from a room’s ambient temperature to concerns about job security can disrupt slumber. But if you always wake up right around 3 a.m.—or at some predictable interval after you’ve hit the sack—alcohol is probably to blame, says Dr.
- Damien Stevens, a doctor of sleep and pulmonary medicine at the University of Kansas Hospital.
- Depending on your metabolism, alcohol going to leave your system after a few hours,” Stevens explains.
- When that happens, you wake up.” According to Timothy Roehrs, director of sleep disorders research at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, booze has a “paradoxical” effect on your slumber in that it both helps and hurts the quality.
Much of Roehrs’s career has focused on the effects alcohol has on sleep. His research suggests that soon after you consume alcohol, that glass of wine or tumbler of bourbon helps speed your descent into slumber. “The sleep alcohol induces is associated with intense slow-wave brain activity, which is considered to be the deepest, most restorative kind of sleep,” he says.
- That deep sleep dominates the first part of your night.
- But your body breaks down and metabolizes alcohol very quickly, and once it’s finished with that chore, your sleep becomes fitful.
- Nobody exactly knows why, Roehrs says.
- But he and other experts think that brain chemicals that cause wakefulness are somehow stimulated when your body finishes burning off the alcohol in your blood.
The process by which your body breaks down alcohol doesn’t vary much. So if you usually swallow the same amount of wine or beer each night and go to sleep around the same time, you’re going to wake up at a predictable hour, Roehrs says. But there’s good news for those who enjoy a nightcap.
- Depending on your tolerance for alcohol, low or even moderate amounts of it won’t necessarily disrupt your sleep, Perlis says.
- How much you can have depends on your drinking history, how big you are, your age and other things,” he says.
- But if you drink and you’re invariably waking up three to five hours after you go to sleep, that’s a great indicator that alcohol is the issue.” Cut back on booze, and see what happens to your sleep.
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Does alcohol cause low energy?
Alcohol and fatigue – Harvard Health Image: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Thinkstock Many people think that a little nightcap will help them sleep soundly through the night. Although alcohol’s sedative effects can make you drowsy, they also have other effects that can interfere with quality sleep.
Several hours after that nightcap, the alcohol raises the body’s level of epinephrine, a stress hormone that increases the heart rate and generally stimulates the body, which can result in nighttime awakenings. Indeed, alcohol may account for 10% of cases of persistent insomnia. Alcohol also relaxes throat muscles, and this relaxation can worsen sleep-related breathing problems and contribute to sleep apnea.
What’s more, alcohol may increase the need to urinate during the night — just another way in which it can disrupt sleep. Alcohol’s sedative quality can rob you of energy in another way. Drinking wine, beer, or hard liquor during the day can make you feel drowsy or lethargic.
What is the witching hour alcoholism?
Some tips for making it through ‘the witching hour’. – Every problem drinker knows about ‘the witching hour’. It’s that time when ordinarily you started drinking. Time slows down and you can’t for the life of you remember why you decided not to drink. Before you know it, you’re drinking again. How the hell do you change this habit? What on Mary’s earth should you do instead? Before I successfully quit drinking, the witching hour used to stretch out yawning in front of me, and most often I didn’t make it through without opening a bottle of wine.
Do people with ADHD dislike alcohol?
That’s the alcohol part but what about the ADHD? – I have always thought of myself as anxious. Everybody else sees me as driven and energetic but disorganised. Since I have drunk for all my adult life, this was always associated in my mind with alcohol.
I have also done lots of crazy impulsive things when drunk, sometimes risking real trouble. Now here’s the thing: I said I gave up alcohol to help with my focus. Along with my karate goal I had the much more important career goal of completing my first academic book, which I had started in 2011. When I gave up drinking almost everything became better, except my focus.
It still sucked. I finally finished the manuscript, in an insane burst of hyperfocus. That’s the only way I had ever done anything including my PhD but most of the time that hyperfocus wouldn’t come and I would hit the bottle in despair. It was a perceptive karate instructor who first picked up on my ADHD.
- In a bout of frustration with my inability to maintain focus he asked me outright if I had ADHD.
- I brushed it off at the time, but it must have stayed with me because when my concentration did not improve, even months after giving up booze and when I failed my driving test for the fifth time and I explained what happened to a friend who has ADHD he suggested that I get assessed.
I did an online screening and “passed” with flying colours. After six months wait I finally got a proper clinical assessment and the diagnosis was confirmed: clearcut, definitely not borderline. I was fortunate enough to get in to see a psychiatrist who corroborated the initial diagnosis and put me on a course of Methylphenidate (Ritalin).
The effect of the first dose was remarkable. Everything just slowed down. I thought to myself ” this, this is what I was looking for in alcohol all these years.” Everything became more manageable. Work that would normally have taken hours to do was done quickly and efficiently. My house magically became tidy.
As I learn more about the condition, a lot about my drinking career started to make sense. Not only did alcohol provide the initial release but more importantly it provided a context in which ADHD behaviours could seem normal. Everyone talks too much, interrupts, randomly changes the subject, does crazy impulsive things when they drink, don’t they? Actually, it turns out that they don’t and a lot of my drunken behaviours were actually my ADHD leaping out.
I also think, looking. back that a lot of the emotional release I experienced when drinking is that I spent a lot of time when sober trying really hard to be “normal”. ADHD is among other things a disorder of emotional dysregulation. One of the more controversial features is something called “Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria”.
Even though it has not been established scientifically, many ADHDers report a much higher sensitivity to rejection than neurotypicals and one thing that is well-established is that we ADHDers are much less able to self soothe than neurotypicals. This explained why my previous attempts to give up drinking had failed.
- On both occasions I was faced with an intense emotional challenge and alcohol was my crutch: the fear of a woman rejecting me, and the fear of drowning sent my emotions haywire.
- Everyone’s story is different.
- Many especially undiagnosed ADHDers have problems with alcohol or other substances but lots of people have ADHD and do not abuse alcohol and there are lots of other reasons why someone might have a drink problem.
The biggest danger for me is to think that now I have a diagnosis and appropriate treatment for my ADHD, I no longer have an alcohol problem and I can now drink “normally”. I know that I cannot. Giving up alcohol was what opened the door to my broader mental health journey and sobriety and managing my ADHD go hand in hand.
Thanks for sharing your experience in such an open and honest way. Wish you all the best. By Gay | September 17, 2022
Thank you for sharing your journey. i was diagnosed really young with ADD even though it was mild but i have struggled the rest of my life to make sense of it and alcohol seemed to make sense. This has been eye opening thank you! By Phebes | September 19, 2022
This sounds like me! Only I’m 37 woman currently nearly 7 months pregnant with 2nd baby. It’s been really tough this pregnancy. By Aussie Tilly | September 17, 2022 Thanks for sharing, can relate to a lot of your experiences. At 30 I have decided that I have too much living to do to waste more time hungover or ashamed of my actions.
By Nick | September 17, 2022 Thanks so much for your openness about your journey with alcohol and ADHD. By Susanne | September 17, 2022 What an epic journey! What a successful story. Truly inspirational. Thank you 🙏 By Natalie | September 17, 2022 Wow.this resonated with me to the max!!!! Thank You 😊 for sharing your story with us.
🙏🌟✨️😁 By Kelly | September 17, 2022 RH Discovering I had ADHD has been one of the most empowering things in my life, as well as finding out that growing up with ADHD and three women, including my mother, who imposed a dis-empowering regime on me by way of keeping me under control.
They probably didn’t know that’s what they were doing but it had a major effect on me. It wasn’t a ‘thing’ back then. I haven’t had a drink for six months and feel more in control than I ever have. Just having a reason for all those ratty behaviours, lack of restraint, inability to concentrate, anger at being placed relentlessly under control, is revelatory and I’ll say it again, empowering.
Working with a wonderful psychologist for a couple of years through the governments fantastic mental health plan scheme was/is/has been my rehab. So thanks for your story and mentioning ADHD. It is never too late. All the best to you By Geoff | September 17, 2022 Thanks for sharing your story.
- I’m in the same boat.
- Had a binge drinking problem for 26 years.
- It got to the point where I couldn’t cope any more, so I finally got sober.
- After about 10 months sober, I was still struggling and my 13 year old son had just been diagnosed with ADHD.
- A lightbulb went off in my head while completing his assessment forms, I ticked so many of the boxes myself.
It explained so many of my lifelong struggles and quirks. I then sought professional assessment and was diagnosed with ADHD last year at 42 and put on Ritalin also. I feel remarkably better able to cope and regulate myself and function in life, I’m still sober.
My past drinking issues make sense to me now. I was drinking to boost dopamine, which my brain must have relied on to cope, but made things so much worse once it wears off. Plus I was drinking to cope with situations I found socially awkward or emotionally overwhelming, or to slow down my racing mind.
It’s great to hear from another late diagnosed adult with ADHD, we’re not alone. There needs to be so much more education and support around ADHD, starting young. If diagnosed and medicated when young (if appropriate for the individual) it can help to avoid lifelong alcohol and substance dependence and many other major life struggles.
Thanks so much for this By Bern | September 17, 2022 Great read, fantastic article. Thank you for your honesty, and obviously it has appealed to so many in the same boat. This is exactly what I have just gone through as well -hated myself for drinking every night, why did i do it after kids/work had been finished and on social occasions. Had tried everything from hypnosis to medication to reduce cravings Naldrexone and others – no luck, more self hate. Went to a phycologist and she identified I had ADHD so obvious when i started looking. I can recommend the book – Scattered Minds to everyone out there. Alcohol consumption since medication started reduced drinking 80%. almost like a ‘normal’ drinker. Still more work to do there but it just explains so much. By JonG | September 21, 2022
That’s a great success story RH. Thank you very much. KJ By Kelly Jones | September 17, 2022
Fantastic Richard, thank you for sharing. There are things about processing and thinking and academia, especially hyperfocus/unable to focus that ring true. For quite some time I’ve been considering exploring the diagnostic route, your candour is both brave and inspiring. Thank you By RachN | September 17, 2022 Hello Richard. So proud of You. I too. have ADHD n diagnosed when I hit rock bottom with Successful Careers then alchohol became my best friend. Your blog is inspiring. Still working 2wards a new life
Thanks for sharing your story and congrats on being alcohol free for so long. The ADHD part was really interesting. My daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD and medication has helped her immensely. It wasn’t easy getting a diagnosis there was a long wait time as you also found.
I wish you well on your journey. By russell bennett | September 17, 2022 Thanks for sharing. It was like reading a story written about my life. By Sarah | September 17, 2022 Great story mate – thankyou By Daniel Kronberger | September 17, 2022 Your story is virtually my story. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 53.
I could never understand how other people functioned past 4pm because by that time, I was completely depleted and would start drinking to get through the rest of the evening. I now know I was exhausted trying to be “normal” and the extra energy for all the forgetfulness (like getting halfway to work then having to turn back because you’ve left an important document on the kitchen table or forgotten your office keys, mobile phone).
- The many procedures I had in place so I wouldn’t forget anything was exhausting and my house constantly looking like a bomb site was so overwhelming.
- Thank you for being honest and bringing awareness and hopefully one day, more understanding.
- My best wishes to you.
- By Mel S | September 17, 2022 You have given me much hope! By Leo | September 17, 2022 Wow you just described my life but from a female perspective.
I was diagnosed a year ago and sober for near 4 months. Still trying to switch the ritual of drinking with exercise, I’m on vyvanse and dex and the difference is significant. Thanks for sharing. By Dee | September 17, 2022 Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m exactly in the same situation although still waiting for getting assessed.
- It is very hard in Australia as unfortunately ADHD has become a “trendy” condition and the wait time is 6 months plus.
- Anyhow, I’m happy that you found your way and hopefully I’ll find mine.
- All the best! By Agie | September 17, 2022 Richard, what a story mate! It really struck a chord with me because of the similarities with my own ADHD later life diagnosis and my very, very destructive relationship with alcohol.
I’ve become a hermit to escape people because I think “what’s the point of explaining yourself and putting yourself at the mercy of other peoples ridicule and mindset.” Thank you mate and please know that by sharing your story you have made me feel less like I’m unique and alone in my struggle.
- I hope I can write a story like yours one day too.
- By SBM | September 17, 2022 I liked your story.
- I can relate to some of it.
- I quit drinking over 2 years ago as well, at age 53.
- I went to counseling after I quit, but for stress and anxiety reasons.
- I even forgot to mention to my counselor for several sessions that I had recently quit drinking.) It was our second session when she asked me if I ever considered I might have ADHD.
Oh. I never thought about it before. My adult daughter has it. When I told my daughter I had been diagnosed with ADHD, she laughed and said it was obvious. Your story tied the two together for me. Alcoholism and ADHD. Congratulations and thank you! By Suzi | September 17, 2022 A wonderful, encouraging and inspiring story.
- Thank you for your openess and vulnerability.
- I have a couple of questions though, and will try to keep them simple.
- I was diagnosed with adult ADHD during a 7 year battle to combat anxiety, major depressive disorder and burnout.
- The last one in particular, I accept came about from burning the candle at both ends for 20 years while fast building a successful professional services firm, being its biggest biller and being CEO.
Stupid, in hindsight. The ADHD diagnosis largely came about in the most recent 2 years as part of my team – psychiatrist, psychologist and GP – realising the biggest problem was extreme PTSD. Why didn’t they come to this conclusion earlier? Me. I didn’t realise for over a decade what I had been through at the top of my field was over exposure to vicarious trauma plus direct trauma.
- I only note this as background.
- In short, leaving a huge amount of detail aside, my psychiatrist put me on xxxx and it has pretty much saved my life.
- Not only is my energy back, but I have a whole new level of focus and it incidentally helped a lot with the depression, alongside xxx.
- So here are the questions.
Given I was never a big drinker until 2016 when my health really started collapsing, yet now struggle not to have those ‘little nips’ during the day for confidence, and sometimes (not often) drink too much per se, does adult ADHD have a relationship with anxiety? Do xxx increase anxiety? If so, do xxx accidentally increase an inclination to ‘calm the nerves’ via alcohol? Any views appreciated if grounded in experience or research.
By Simon | September 17, 2022 Well done to you. I am really amazed at your long story of struggling with your problems with ADHD and drinking to cope. I myself have a long history of reliance on alcohol but for different reasons, more to do with traumatic events in my life that I just couldn’t cope with, so alcolol was my solitary solace.
I had always suffered bad health from childhood so alcohol was the last thing I needed to prop me up. To make a long story short, my liver suffered from all the abuse and I needed a liver transplant. I was one of the lucky ones, I got the jolt I needed to make me stop for once and for all.
I am now four years sober and I am one year post transplant and my health is improving every day. I am very lucky and like you, life is so much better, I am happier now than I have ever been in my life and have so much energy and looking forward to doing much more than I ever imagined I could possibly do.
Life without alcohol is so brilliant, I never thought that was possible when I was drinking. I didn’t think I could cope without it, but here I am, still alive and living it to the full. Thanks for your story, you are a very brave man and I am delighted for you that your life has turned around so well.
Best wishes D By Deirdre | September 17, 2022 This situation is exactly what is happening to me right now. It’s great to hear a success story. Well done. By Edina | September 17, 2022 Thank you much! Since childhood until today teachers and bosses both have said in reviews very bright, but has trouble focusing.
Starting projects but never seeming to finish Alcohol and drug abuse Since my early teens to “help”. The hypersensitivity to rejection really rang true throughout my life again. I feel like you were telling my story! I’m just 60 days sober and feeling so much better physically and mentally but still am unable to maintain focus! You’ve given me hope!! Thank you! By Katie | September 17, 2022 Omg.
Literally me. Thanks so much. I am going to get an assessment.51 and finally realising I am very neuro diverse. By Bern | September 17, 2022 Amazing breakthrough Richard – all the best By Janet | September 18, 2022 Hey mate, very interesting blog. I struggle with ADHD and OCD (although I don’t like all these labels).
My life was following a very similar pattern to yours for a long time. Ended up in Spain as a language teacher, lots of failed attempts at relationships. Then I took a year of booze and things got better. I went back to it, but am always considering knocking it on the head for good.
- The roller coaster simply isn’t worth it.
- I’ve never really given the stimulant medication a go as I’m concerned it will cause more anxiety and trigger obsessions.
- Am always looking for natural alternatives to drugs, but your results with Ritalin are quite intriguing.
- Anyways, all the best with it and thanks for posting.
By Rob | September 18, 2022
Thank you to everyone for your kind comments and it is really good to know that many of us are on the same journey. One of the worst things about having undiagnosed ADHD apart from not understanding why you do all the things you do is the feeling deep down that you are weird and awkward and have to work so hard to “do being normal”. It is great to hear that so many others are in the same boat. To those of you waiting for a diagnosis, hang in there, it will be worth it in the end. For those at a different stage in their alcohol journey also stick at it. It gets easier. I promise By Richard | September 22, 2022
Thank you. You gave me some inspiration when I needed it. God bless By Brian | September 20, 2022 Wow. I could have written this myself. I have been sober since December 2019 and was diagnosed with ADHD 3 months later and, with my new found diagnosis/knowledge, the last 30 years of drinking all made sense. Thanks for sharing, its nice to know I’m not alone, By Darren | October 6, 2022 Thank you so much for sharing your story, I am the same as you. I stopped drinking in 2019 and have been diagnosed with ADHD. My doctor is still trying to figure out the appropriate medication. My case is complicated with my Major Depressive disorder. I’m so glad you are living a full and happy life now. Kind regards, Sam in Sydney By sam russell | October 15, 2022 Thank you for sharing 🙏 I have also recently been diagnosed with ADHD & can resonate with a lot of what you have written about. I know that I can never be a drinker & that is freedom By Jamie Rae | October 20, 2022 Thankyou for telling your story wishing you all the best, I hope you are well. By Grace | December 10, 2022
Do people with ADHD not like alcohol?
– While ADHD doesn’t in any way cause alcohol misuse, it has long been recognized as a risk factor. The following are some known links between alcohol use and ADHD:
Earlier alcohol use. A 2018 twin study found that more severe childhood ADHD was associated with earlier alcohol use, as well as frequent or heavy alcohol use. Increased risk of binge drinking. According to a 2015 study, people with ADHD are also more likely to engage in binge drinking in early adulthood. Increased sensitivity to alcohol’s effects. A 2009 study found that participants with ADHD were more likely to show signs of alcohol impairment, even when asked to complete tasks that typically decrease impairment. More severe ADHD symptoms. Alcohol impairment could aggravate symptoms of ADHD such as impulsiveness and difficulty focusing. In addition, long-term alcohol use is associated with difficulties with cognition, decision-making, memory, and speech. These effects could worsen symptoms of ADHD. Increased risk of alcohol use disorder. A 2011 review reported that childhood ADHD is a significant risk factor in the development of alcohol use disorder.
Drinking alcohol always comes with risks, whether or not you have ADHD. If you have ADHD, the risks are higher.
What does ADHD look like in a woman?
Why ADHD in Women Is Often Misdiagnosed – ADHD symptoms in girls are often viewed as character traits rather than symptoms of a condition. For example, a girl might be described as spacey, forgetful, or chatty. Later in life, a woman might reach out for help for her symptoms, only to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety instead.
- The good news is that there is an increasing awareness about ADHD symptoms in women, which means more women are able to get the help they need.
- Women with ADHD face the same feelings of being overwhelmed and exhausted as men with ADHD commonly feel.
- Psychological distress, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and chronic stress are common.
Often, women with ADHD feel that their lives are out of control or in chaos, and daily tasks may seem impossibly huge. Our culture commonly expects women to fill the caretaker role. When things feel out of control and it’s difficult to organize and plan because of ADHD, taking care of others can feel nearly impossible.
What is a mirror drinker?
The free app is part of the “Drink Smarter” campaign by the Scottish government to make people aware of the line between social drinking and binge drinking. (bigstock) Mirror, mirror in my phone New app shows how drinking might make a person look prematurely old Drinking Mirror, free for iPhone and Android Ever wonder about the impact all that drinking has on your looks? “Drinking Mirror,” a new smartphone app, aims to show you.
- The free app, part of the “Drink Smarter” campaign by the Scottish government to make people aware of the line between social drinking and binge drinking, plays on people’s vanity and specifically targets women.
- Android and iPhone users with the “Drinking Mirror” app are able to upload or snap photos of themselves and enter information about their drinking habits.
Once they do so, they will see how their faces might age if they continue to drink at their current rate. The app’s Web site, which seeks to spread awareness about health concerns associated with excessive alcohol consumption, warns that weight gain, dull skin, wrinkles and red cheeks are associated with drinking heavily on a regular basis.
LONGEVITY ‘Superfoods’ for people older than 50 AARP.org “Eat healthfully” is more than a weight-loss tip. The right foods can help protect vital organs such as the eyes, lungs, heart and brain, and are especially important as we age. To help people get the most bang for their dietary buck, AARP created a list of the top 15 superfoods for people older than 50,
The list includes standard fare such as apples, which can help lower cholesterol and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and oatmeal, which is low in fat and high in iron and other minerals. Other superfoods include asparagus, blueberries, broccoli, butternut squash, fava beans, Greek yogurt, kale, olive oil, pears, quinoa and salmon.
Can you be a borderline alcoholic?
• Attempts to document systematically the presence of borderline personality disorder in alcoholic patients were made in 94 alcoholic patients consecutively admitted to an inpatient alcoholism program. Operational diagnoses of borderline or not borderline used Gunderson’s semistructured Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines (DIB).
Is it OK to wake up a drunk person?
Other Important Factors –
Stay with a person who is vomiting! Try to keep the person sitting up. If s/he must lie down, keep the person on his/her side with his/her head turned to the side. Watch for choking; if the person begins to choke, GET HELP IMMEDIATELY, CALL 9-1-1, If a person drinks alcohol in combination with any other drug, the combined effect could be fatal. CALL 9-1-1, If the person is not in need of medical attention and is going to “sleep it off,” be sure to position the person on his/her side placing a pillow behind him/her to prevent them from rolling out of this position. This is important to help prevent choking if the person should vomit. STAY WITH THE PERSON AND WAKE HIM/HER UP FREQUENTLY, Even though the person is sleeping, alcohol levels may continue to rise, causing the person to become unconscious, rather than asleep. If at any time you can not wake the person up, CALL 9-1-1, Any person that has altered consciousness, slowed respiration, repeated, uncontrolled vomiting, or cool, pale skin is experiencing acute alcohol intoxication (alcohol poisoning). This is a medical emergency and you MUST get help. CALL 9-1-1,
How to increase alcohol tolerance?
As pubs and bars reopen across England, many are excited about the opportunity to enjoy a drink with friends and family. While some evidence suggests alcohol consumption increased during lockdown, other reports suggest that over one in three adults drank less – or stopped altogether.
But though we may be excited to get back to the pub, our tolerance may be lower than it was pre-lockdown. Regularly drinking a certain amount of alcohol (for example, having four pints every Friday evening after work) can lead to increased tolerance, This is where the brain adapts to the effects of alcohol (such as relaxation and improved mood), and over time more alcohol is needed to achieve the same effects.
In this scenario you may need to drink five pints to get the same initial “buzz” you got from four pints. Tolerance is a hallmark feature of addiction, But it can also develop with regular and continued alcohol use in social drinkers. Following a period of reduced alcohol use or abstinence, alcohol tolerance can decrease to levels before regular use.
How do you not black out when drinking?
Reduce your risk of blacking out avoid drinking too quickly – sip rather than gulp. alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. eat up – never drink on an empty stomach. stay safe – avoid drinking in unfamiliar situations.