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The Dangers and My Experiences of ‘Sleeping It Off’

Looking after ourselves and our friends should be our top priority on a night out, but not many people recognise the dangers of ‘sleeping it off’. Here Georgia writes about her own experiences.

My relationship with alcohol

When I turned 18, I was out in Leeds nearly every weekend, and nearly every weekend was the same story. I have come to realise that I hate the feeling of being drunk, particularly because I like to feel in control of my body and when I am not it makes me super anxious. So, whenever I could feel myself heading into the ‘blackout drunk’ stage I would take myself home to my safe, warm, and cosy bed, yet it wasn’t as safe as it seemed.

 

Throughout the past few years, I have thrown up in my sleep countless times, with no memory of it occurring. Although I knew the dangers of this and was fully aware that I could choke in my sleep and potentially die, there were so many times when I had gone to sleep feeling somewhat fine, so I could not understand why it was happening so frequently.

Binge drinking and alcohol overdose

Despite the frequent occurrence of what I now understand was alcohol overdose, I continued to drink excessive amounts in a short space of time. It’s also cost me a small fortune having to constantly replace duvets, bedding, pillows etc.

 

Before I share with you what I know now and how you can prevent this from happening, I want to highlight my most worrying experience of alcohol overdose which was during a girl’s holiday in Zante. As you’re probably aware, these kinds of holidays are centred around excessive drinking, and drinking to ‘get drunk’.

 

One night we paid for a 3-hour unlimited bar, and of course I wanted to get my monies worth. After the 3 hours were up we went to the next club and I knew I was on the verge of blacking out, so it was time for me to go to bed and ‘sleep it off’. My friend kindly walked me back to the hotel and the next thing I remember was waking up very confused and seeing sick on the floor.

 

Pretty much every time this has happened I have still been drunk when I’ve woke up, so I’ve somehow managed to find light in the situation and laugh it off. I guess it’s one of those things where if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.

 

Anyway, after having a conversation with one of my friends (who usually stayed out until the early hours) she told me she came back to the hotel not long after me, and for some reason got a taxi home (it was only a 15-minute walk). This friend was also staying in a different room to me and for some reason she didn’t have her room key, she had my second one.

 

She said she could hear me choking from outside the room, and when she opened the door she saw me laid on my back, foaming at the mouth and choking on my sick. Luckily, she was there to turn me onto my side, so I could throw up all the pasta I had eaten a few hours before, and considering the strange coincidences, I’m lucky to be alive to tell the tale.

 

You’d think this would’ve stopped me from binge drinking again, but it didn’t. Since then, I have unknowingly thrown up in my sleep multiple times, but after gaining an interest in reading books on alcohol and experiencing life in lockdown without these kinds of nights out, I’ve become more aware of the causes and effects of alcohol overdose, and I’ve realised how good life is to feel ‘fresh’ every day. I will never allow myself to get into those states again.

The Causes

Even after you’ve finished drinking your last drink, your alcohol levels continue to rise. There have clearly been many times when I’ve gone home feeling relatively stable, yet unaware that my alcohol levels are rising, causing me to ‘blackout’ in my sleep. Alcohol also hinders the signals in your brain that trigger your gag reflexes, and this can be fatal for obvious reasons.

 

If you know you have a ‘low tolerance’ to alcohol, then make it known to the people you’re drinking with.

 

Your age, gender, weight, height, medication, and food intake are just a few of the factors that impact your tolerance levels. So, as a 5 ft 1 women weighing just over 100 pounds, my tolerance to alcohol is understandably going to be much lower than your average persons, and this is something I would encourage you to consider when trying to ‘keep up’ with your peers.

 

How to keep you and your friends safe

 

I’ve always felt that people would perceive me as ‘boring’ if I didn’t drink. If you want to wake up in the morning with no regrets that doesn’t make you boring, just sensible, and more people need to realise this.

 

Even though alcohol is a poisonous drug, people advise us to get to know our limits, but we all have different tolerances to alcohol and our ‘limit’ is dependent on so many factors, making it difficult to do so. So, try not to bow down to the pressure of having to keep up with everyone else and instead keep it steady.

 

Reducing your alcohol consumption is an effective form of self-care, it improves everything from our finances to our physical and mental health.

 

Whilst waking up to find yourself in a pool of your own sick is most definitely the least glamorous part of a night out, it could also be the most dangerous.

 

Be aware of the risks, take it steady, live in the moment, make memories, and look after yourself and others.

Top Tips For A Night with No Regrets

Meet some of our volunteers and hear what their tips are to have a night with no regrets and a great next day.

 

Ella’s Tip:

Sophie’s Tip:

Frederica’sTip:

Jonny’sTip:

Kate’sTip:

Georgia’sTip:

How to #FeelFine in Lockdown Without Drinking

Lockdown is tough and it’s only made tougher by the hangover the day after the night before. But you don’t have to spend your nights drinking with mates over Zoom or stuck in the house drinking out of boredom. Why not try out some new things to pass the time and have you feeling fine?

 

Keep up to date with Tik Tok

Whether it’s a sea shanty or the Junebug challenge, Tik Tok has plenty of videos to watch and challenges to join in on

Up cycle your old clothes

The shops are closed and you’re fed up of couriers leaving your parcels in your bin. Why not raid your wardrobe for the clothes you haven’t worn in a while and show off your masterpieces on Instagram.

Learn to play an instrument

Always wanted to play guitar but been putting it off? Now is as good a time as any to take on that challenge.

Host your own Come Dine With Me/ Bake Off challenge

Lockdown and drinking less may be hard but don’t let it stop you from indulging in the finest food and desserts. Why not get your housemates involved and enjoy the 3 course meals?

Brush the dust off of some old games

They may not have been used since you were ten but board games can be a fun way to pass time and be sociable. Failing the board games whip out Cards Against Humanity. There’s even an online version to play with the pals you can’t meet right now.

Create a wanderlust Pinterest board

We can’t travel yet but one day you can tick off some countries from your ultimate travel goals. No harm in daydreaming.

Get Moving

You may need yoga to distress or you may want to take up running to get out of the house. Whatever it is, get moving and feel them endorphins.

Have a House Series Night

Select a night and take it in turns to choose which series to watch as a house. Whether it’s Brooklyn 999, Superstore or the latest murder documentary.

 

And Relax

Now’s your chance to finally read that book you’ve been meaning to, get your favourite bath bomb, face mask and relax in the bath.

 

Let us know what you do to keep occupied in lockdown and don’t forget to tag us @NoRegretsLeeds and include #FeelingFine if you try any of these out.

21 Reasons To Cut Down Your Drinking In 2021

Maybe after 2020 you’re thinking of having a strong start to 2021 by doing Dry January? Here are some perks that could help seal the deal…

  1. Better sleep
    Get used to having a solid 8 hours kip every night and wake up feeling as fresh as the day you were born. The dream.
  2. Spot-free skin
    Bid farewell to spots, eczema and dryness and enjoy healthy, hydrated skin.
  3. Drop some lbs
    Clothes feeling tighter than you’d like? Cutting down on high calorie drinks like beer and wine can do wonders for your waistline (especially helpful after scoffing your face at Christmas).
  4. More energy
    No more wasted days festering in your bed. Choosing to cut down the bevs will help you kick off the new year with an energy boost.
  5. More focus
    You’ll also find your concentration improves so you can be even more productive than usual.
  6. Get fitter
    Physically, mentally, emotionally… (and just generally look and feel bangin’).
  7. More time to do better stuff
    Having a self-care day, going on a day trip, applying for that dream job. The time you waste necking shots in a shit club could be spent doing more for future you.
  8. More money to spend on the better stuff you decide to do…
    8 quid for a double G&T? You could get a train to Manchester for that.
  9. Make your first impression a good one
    Who wants to be known as ‘the one who chunned on the dancefloor’.
  10. No more horror stories
    Being sick on yourself, texting your ex, flashing someone you shouldn’t…whichever way you embarrass yourself when you’re smashed, you won’t miss the regret it brings the next day.
  11. Better sex
    Always a win…
  12. Pearly whites
    Cutting down on alcohol can do wonders for your teeth too.
  13. Keep your pals onside
    Avoid pissing your friends off with your drunken antics.
  14. Your liver lives to see another day
    Give the poor thing a break, it needs it!
  15. No more hangovers
    Do an N Sync and say bye, bye, bye to feeling like shit the day after a big night.
  16. We repeat, NO MORE HANGOVERS
    Enough said.
  17. A new lease of life
    The post-drinking blues will be a thing of the past.
  18. DMCs you actually remember
    All those heartfelt chats you have with your friends while drinking? Not taking it too far will mean you actually remember them.
  19. No grim one night stands
    No more answering ‘you up?’ texts and hating yourself afterwards.
  20. Make the most of being out of lockdown
    This year has been tough on us all but you can wake up fresh and ready to make the most of it, especially now a COVID vaccine is in sight.
  21. Be the best version of you
    All these will help you on your way to becoming the kickass version of yourself you’ve always wanted to be. And who wouldn’t want to start a new year like that?

Here’s to a better year in 2021
Will you be giving dry January a go?