The Atlantic

Even Small Amounts of Alcohol Impair Memory

Drinking moderately might still be affecting your brain, even if you never black out.
Source: Alessandro Garofalo / Reuters

“I can’t even remember what happened that night” is a common joke/cry for help among people who recently drank to the point of blacking out. But there’s also evidence that drinking even a little bit can seriously impair learning and memory.

Sleep, especially the REM phase when dreams occur, is when memories get cemented into our minds. Alcohol blocks REM sleep, and as a result, says University of California, Berkeley, professor Matthew Walker, drinking can make you forget new information—even if the drinking happens days after the learning took place.

The most striking evidence of this phenomenon, which Walker describes in his recent book, , is from a 2003 study by Carlyle Smith, a professor at Trent and got them kind of drunk.

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