Alcohol and Sleep Issues

Can Alcohol Affect Your Sleep?


Despite what some people think, alcohol may be negatively impacting your sleep. According to WebMD, a review of dozens of studies shows that alcohol “does not improve sleep quality.” Alcohol may help healthy people fall asleep faster and “sleep more deeply for a while,” but it affects the more important rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. 

Studies show that alcohol negatively affects REM sleep. 

REM sleep is believed to be restorative. It occurs approximately 1.5 hours after a person falls asleep. A disruption in REM sleep can deeply impact a person’s mental and physical health.

As noted by WebMD, a disruption in REM sleep can cause:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Sleepwalking

The more alcohol you drink, the more likely there could be a pronounced disruption to a person’s sleep. Drinking alcohol before bed can also cause sleep apnea. Alcohol is not a cure for insomnia and should not be used as one. Alcohol can actually increase sleeping programs and have significant complications. 

Relying on alcohol to fall asleep may lead to dependence. It is important to seek treatment immediately if you want to stop drinking but cannot. Using alcohol can be detrimental to nearly all aspects of your health and well-being. If you are having trouble sleeping, it is important to speak with your doctor instead of relying on alcohol or drugs to help you fall asleep. 

Despite millions of people having a reliance or dependence on alcohol, few ever seek treatment. Treatment can help you overcome your addiction and find healthy ways to cope with any of your struggles.