Author: Gary Jackson

Alcohol and insomnia: Possible risks and more

It’s also a common practice for some people to treat insomnia by consuming alcohol. While a drink now and then may have a sedative effect that causes you to drift off faster, research shows that it can impede sleep quality in the long run. Even though a glass or two may help you initially drift off faster, it probably won’t benefit your sleep quality in the long run. If you’re struggling to get enough quality rest, talk to a health care professional about ways to improve your sleep.

does alcohol cause insomnia

Myrkl is scientifically crafted to help people who want to feel their best the morning after celebrating. If you think you may have a sleep problem or disorder, consider taking our brief sleep quiz to find out. Remember that only a healthcare professional or sleep specialist can diagnose a sleep condition. Alcohol can increase the quantity of non-REM sleep during the first half of the night, but it decreases REM sleep in the second half. Based on your answers, we will calculate your free
Sleep Foundation Score

and create a personalized sleep profile that includes sleep-improving products and education curated just
for you. Although there’s no evidence that alcohol can cause narcolepsy (sleepwalking), it does disrupt REM sleep, which may make the onset of sleepwalking more likely.

Alcohol and Insomnia Statistics

People with sleep apnea should consider avoiding or reducing alcohol consumption. A person can speak with a doctor to discuss the best way to treat and manage their condition. Consuming alcohol may present a higher risk of developing sleep apnea.

does alcohol cause insomnia

It may increase the likelihood of waking up in the middle of the night, resulting in grogginess the next morning. Sleep deprivation due to alcohol consumption can exacerbate performance impairment and daytime sleepiness. If a person chooses to consume alcohol, drinking in moderation several hours before bed is the best practice for avoiding sleep disturbances.

Alcohol and Sleep Apnea

Studies have shown that short-term alcohol use can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep. Individuals who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are also particularly affected by insomnia. A 2020 study found that people with ADHD are more likely to consume alcohol to treat their insomnia symptoms. 2020 research suggests that alcohol impacts the part of sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM). Drinking heavily over time can also disrupt the chemical messengers in the brain, which can affect sleep.

Drinking to fall asleep can build a tolerance, forcing you to consume more alcohol each successive night in order to experience the sedative effects. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes brain activity to slow down. People with alcohol use disorders commonly experience insomnia symptoms. Studies have shown that alcohol use can exacerbate the symptoms of sleep apnea. You can manage the negative effects of alcohol on sleep by giving your body ample time to metabolize alcohol before falling asleep. To reduce the risk of sleep disruptions, you should stop drinking alcohol at least four hours before bedtime.

Causes and risk factors

Because of these reasons, it is vital to get the support you need when going through alcoholic insomnia. People with alcohol use disorder experience insomnia at higher rates than those who don’t abuse alcohol. This has severe implications for the U.S. population’s lifestyle. People with co-occurring medical conditions have an even higher risk of developing insomnia and/or substance use disorder. Sometimes, people connect their insomnia with alcohol use and vice versa.

  • A person can speak with a doctor to discuss the best way to treat and manage their condition.
  • If you’re turning to alcohol to help you sleep, you may be making the quality of your sleep worse.
  • They experience limited REM sleep, which can affect their health.
  • Although none of the possible strategies may work correctly, many may help to lessen the symptoms.
  • One of the side effects of alcohol is drowsiness, so it can make you fall asleep quickly.
  • Take the Sleep Quiz to help inform your sleep improvement journey.

Consuming alcohol and experiencing restricted sleep reduces alertness during the day. If you’re turning to alcohol to help you sleep, you may be making the quality of your sleep worse. It can also negatively affect mood, which can, in turn, affect personal relationships. There are a variety of programs available for those wishing to undergo alcohol detox. These specialists in treatment for alcohol addiction will guide users through withdrawal effects with psychotherapy, group therapy, and medication.