Published on April 05, 2019

Straight Shot

Some of the most memorable girls nights involve lounging on the sofa while indulging in sweet treats, gossip and a cocktail (or two). No harm, no foul. But, know these sobering truths.

three 20-something women drinking wineAccording to a 12-month study published in JAMA Psychiatry, alcohol use among Americans increased about 11% from 2001-2002 and 2002-2013, to 72.7%.

When broken down into sociodemographic subgroups, researchers noted a significant increase among women, nearly 16%. The reason isn’t clear, but smaller studies have linked the increase to higher rates of depression and anxiety in women. Think about it this way: Men tend to celebrate by drinking while women tend drink to calm their nerves and reduce stress.

Here, we give you the straight up truth about four common alcohol myths.

Myth 1: Moderate drinking is good for you. Even though some research indicates a glass of red wine every day can help your heart, that doesn’t mean it’s a wellness product by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, overindulging on a regular basis can lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive difficulties, and other serious health and social problems.

Myth 2: A shot calms your nerves. A shot of alcohol may improve your dance moves and provide some liquid courage, but it won’t help you deal with anxiety. In fact, it can make the condition worse.

Myth 3: The hair of the dog can cure a hangover. Like your mom says, “If something sounds too good to be true, it is.” Drinking more alcohol will only prolong your hangover. Take two aspirin and sleep it off.

Myth 4: A drink before bed helps you sleep. A drink before bed can actually make you lose sleep. Alcohol disrupts sleep and reduces your REM time, which is necessary for a restful night’s sleep.

This doesn’t mean you have to sip tea at your next gal pal gathering. Just be aware. And, keep these final thoughts in mind:

  • Drinking in moderation means one 5-ounce glass of alcohol per day for women (two glasses/day for men).
  • A 5-ounce glass of red wine has an average of 125 calories.
  • If you don’t drink, don’t start.