Does Alcohol Help You Sleep?

When you’ve got a lot of sleep debt, you might reach for an extra cup of coffee or take a long daytime nap. But these behaviors can make it harder to sleep the next night, leading to even more sleep debt. Sleep debt can cause daytime sleepiness the next day, but also for many days to come if you don’t catch up on sleep. This suggests not only that CBTi is effective in reducing insomnia symptoms but that improvements in insomnia may also result in fewer alcohol-related problems. The transition from risky behaviours to bad habits and ultimately addiction is worryingly common. One contributory factor could be the effect of poor sleep on neurocognitive functioning.

does liquor help you sleep

That’s because alcohol disrupts what’s known as your sleep architecture, the normal phases of deeper and lighter sleep we go through every night. A night of drinking can “fragment,” or interrupt, these patterns, experts say, and you may wake up several times as you ricochet through the usual stages of sleep. RISE can tell you when exactly you does liquor help you sleep should stop drinking alcohol based on your circadian rhythm, or body clock, each day. We found RISE users with low sleep debt are most likely to use this habit reminder. Some of us may also be so caught up with the positives of drinking alcohol — like feeling relaxed and happy — that we ignore the negative effects — like sleep problems.

Alcohol and Sleep Apnea

Alcohol increases the amount of SWS in the first third of the night. As a result it may precipitate — or increase the frequency of — parasomnias which occur during this stage of sleep. Using alcohol to help you relax and sleep may actually be masking a sleep disorder that needs treatment. If you’ve enjoyed a lovely three-course dinner with friends — washed down with a few glasses of wine — then it’s the combination of a substantial meal and the alcohol that’ll affect your sleep. Combine alcohol with a fatty kebab or a late-night curry and your body has its work cut out keeping you cool and keeping you asleep.

does liquor help you sleep

Besides just waking you up a lot, alcohol can disrupt your normal sleep patterns enough to create some longer-term issues you may need to address. If you have alcohol in your system when you hit the hay, you may not sleep very deeply, or for very long, on and off throughout the night. That’s because as alcohol starts to metabolize, the sedative effect wears off. If you sleep better when you don’t drink, you might consider stopping alcohol use entirely. However, if you continue to have sleeping difficulties, reach out to a sleep specialist. If your drinking is medicinal, it’s time to look for safer, more effective ways to cope.

Lack of Sleep and Diabetes

Alcohol can worsen sleep apnea, a condition where a person’s breathing stops and regularly starts while they sleep. People’s tolerance to alcohol as a sleep aid rapidly increases, leading to insomnia and alcohol dependence. Alcohol can lead to fragmented sleep and waking up during the night, as it disrupts the sleep cycle. Research from 2018 corroborates this, suggesting that people experience a lower duration and quality of REM after consuming alcohol. Interestingly, the harmful effects of alcohol were more pronounced among young people compared with seniors.

  • However, since the effects of alcohol are different from person to person, even small amounts of alcohol can reduce sleep quality for some people.
  • The point at which that happens depends on how much you drank before bed.
  • We often have a binary way of thinking about alcohol use – either you’re an alcoholic and your drinking is truly out of control, or there’s no problem at all.
  • While alcohol can help you fall asleep, it does not help you stay asleep during the later hours of the night.