• Get Help Now!
    480-830-3900
    (No PCP Referral Needed)
Call Us: 480-830-3900

Why Alcohol Before Bed Is Not Good For Sleep

Many of us reach for a glass of wine or a beer to relax in the evening, especially if we have a hard time getting to sleep at night.

 

Red wine pouring into a glass

photo: bigstock

A glass of red wine is great for nodding off, right? You are actually wrong if you think so. There are several reasons why alcohol before bed is not the best choice for a sleep aid. Here’s why:

 

Alcohol Disrupts Sleep Patterns

Alcohol may knock you out quicker or help you feel sleepy, but it also reduces the amount of time you spend in REM sleep, which in turn reduces the number of sleep cycles you have during the night. This is why, after a night of drinking, you actually feel more tired after you wake up than you did the night before.

 

Alcohol Confuses Your Body’s Natural Circadian Rhythm

Your body has a built in clock that regulates your body’s sleepiness and wakefulness. You disrupt this when you artificially cause sleepiness through the use of alcohol. It affects your sleep homeostasis and will cause you to more and more regularly rely on alcohol to get to sleep.

 

Alcohol Causes You To Wake Up More

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you lose hydration quicker. You may have to get up in the middle of the night to use the toilet, which will make it harder to have a uninterrupted night’s sleep. It will also cause you to be dehydrated, and since you will not be hydrating yourself while sleeping, the dehydration will last all night, causing you to wake up thirsty and with a dry nose and mouth.

 

Regular Use May Result In Dependence

If you regularly start using alcohol as a sleep aid, it may cause you to become dependent on alcohol to go to sleep at all. It also increases your chances of sleepwalking, sleep talking, snoring, and increases memory problems.

 

Next Morning Drowsiness

In addition to being tired the next day due to the lack of quality sleep during the night, you will have a decreased brain function that morning, and may have memory problems. If repeated over a long period of time, you could experience significant detrimental effects on neurocognitive function and daytime wellbeing.

 

Instead of alcohol, try drinking a hot, milky or herbal drink to relax in the evening. You can also exercise in the early evening to promote nighttime tiredness, and if you are suffering from prolonged and unrelieved insomnia, you may need to see a medical professional for help with your condition, instead of self medicating with alcohol.

 

Related Articles: 

Client Reviews
cre

"I recommend them highly!! I took my 2 year old daughter for a sleep study and was very impressed. Our sleep technician was amazing with her, very patient and kind. The DVD we brought to watch while getting her hooked up got stuck in the TV and they vowed to return it. We got a call the next day checking on our daughter and saying how sweet she was, they mentioned the DVD. Several days later, we received the DVD plus a new copy of the Lion King with a nice note. They are very good at what they do and if they can make a 2 year old feel at ease, they can probably do the same with anyone!!"


Anthea S.


Tempe, AZ

"I was especially impressed with Andrew the Respiratory Therapist who reviewed my study with me and answered my questions. Andrew thoroughly explained everything about the Cpap machine-from start to finish. I never felt rushed and was assured I could contact him with any additional questions or needs. Andrew told me he would follow up with a call in a week and he did. I believe this center performed the study appropriately and the added benefit of having Andrew teach me about the machine and what to expect was a bonus."


Candace M.


Scottsdale, AZ

"Great staff, they make you feel so at home. Every medical facility should be this nice. Felt like a nice hotel. Someone has great taste in decorating. Thanks for making us feel at home."


Steve N.


San Diego, CA