Why I stopped drinking and started sleeping


In July this year, just as I was starting up metacircle, I made a decision to stop drinking alcohol. Since then, I have become increasingly happy with this decision. What does this have to do with software and the IT industry? As it turns out, quite a lot — at least for me.

First, I’m not trying to be “holy”, “saved”, “better than you” or anything else. I did my fair share of drinking earlier. Back in the days. Hopefully, those days are gone but my point is that I am not starting a crusade against alcohol.

The short- and long-term effects of alcohol on the brain have often been debated but there seems to be no doubt that consuming even the slightest amount of alcohol is degenerative for the brain in some way. On top of that, sleeping under the influence of alcohol seems to impair the sleep pattern, although this is also a debatable subject [1][2].

But a scientific study is one thing, the way you feel is another. My non-drinking experiment was primarily a test to see what would happen if I stopped since I had increasingly felt that the effects of a hangover sometimes carried over to every-day situations several days after a night out.

And here is the result: For the last half year, I have been more aware and sharp in my head. I feel that I have an easier time understanding new problems and technologies and combined with the fortunate situation that I can sleep as much as I want (almost), I am currently in a situation that is much more personally satisfying than ever before. The IT industry is competitive, there is always someone smarter than yourself and knowing this is frustrating. But the frustration is reduced when the amount of deliberate, self-inflicted brain-degeneration is minimized.

And actually, it is quite healthy for the rest of the body as well.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_use_and_sleep
[2] http://www.webmd.com/video/breus-drink-bed

Added since original post:
Sleep is more important than food
Surprising Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

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