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Drink Less, Sleep Better: How Alcohol Consumption Affects Sleep

Drink Less, Sleep Better: How Alcohol Consumption Affects Sleep

Alcohol can have a sedative or stimulant effect depending on the dose and the time between drinking and bedtime. Some people who drink frequently develop a tolerance to the sedative effects of alcohol. Though alcohol can have a sedative effect, it has also been linked to sleep disorders like insomnia. If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, alcohol consumption could be a contributing factor.

does alcohol help you sleep

Since using alcohol routinely to fall asleep leads to disrupted sleep, people can experience chronic daytime sleepiness. That can then create an unhealthy cycle of using stimulants such as caffeine to stay awake, then self-medicating at night with alcohol to fall asleep again, according to the Sleep Foundation. Alcohol can affect individuals differently and even affect the same person in different ways at various times, depending on factors such as how much and how quickly alcohol is consumed. If you’re regularly feeling under-rested, heavy drinking may be to blame. If you do not have an alcohol use disorder (AUD), here are some steps you should take. Research also indicates that drinking alcohol makes a person more likely to experience a sleep-related eating disorder.

Vivid dreams

It’s true, sleep may happen more quickly after consuming a drink or two. Alcohol often does reduce sleep onset latency—the time it takes to fall asleep. Depending on how much alcohol is consumed, however, what seems like How Long Can You Live With Cirrhosis? falling asleep may be something closer to passing out. And we quickly build a tolerance for the sedative effects of alcohol, which means you may need to drink more to have the same initial sleep-inducing effects.

  • You may also find alcohol does not help you fall asleep because you have developed a tolerance for its sedative effects.
  • Results were similar for women and men, as well as for people of smaller and larger body sizes and people who were physically active vs. those who were more sedentary.
  • Lindsay Modglin is a nurse and professional writer who regularly writes about complex medical topics, as well as travel and the great outdoors.
  • Research shows that as many as 20 to 30 percent of people with insomnia report using alcohol to get some shut-eye, notes Dr. Avidan.

People who have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea should talk with their doctor if their symptoms do not improve after starting treatment. A doctor can discuss alcohol habits and other lifestyle choices, as well as recommend steps to make treatment more effective. Drinking alcohol close to bedtime increases the likelihood that a person will snore. Alcohol causes the muscles in the mouth and throat to relax, which makes these tissues susceptible to fluttering and making noise as a person breathes in and out. Drinking alcohol may also contribute to sleep apnea, a condition marked by repeated breathing disruptions during sleep.

How do you make sure your Dry January is successful?

According to the Sleep Foundation, people who have alcohol use disorders often experience symptoms of insomnia, which is the most common sleep disorder. At the same time, many people with insomnia routinely use alcohol to fall asleep. Research shows that as many as 20 to 30 percent of people with insomnia report using alcohol to get some shut-eye, notes Dr. Avidan.

does alcohol help you sleep

Whether through residential or outpatient treatment, you can receive treatment for your AUD that fits into your lifestyle and addresses all aspects of your addiction to bring holistic healing. Gateway understands how essential ongoing support is, and we provide that to our clients long after they’ve left our facilities. To make matters worse, alcohol isn’t like water and other fluids.

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