Does Alcohol Help You Sleep? [Clue: Maybe..]

Does alcohol help you sleep?

Does alcohol help you sleep?

While alcohol might help you to fall asleep more quickly, it interferes with the quality of your sleep. Alcohol can cause disruptions in your sleep patterns which may prevent you from reaching the restful stages of sleep. As a result, you may still wake up feeling tired even after a full night's sleep.

This isn't just applicable to large quantities of alcohol, the consumption of relatively small amounts of alcohol can interfere with your body's natural sleep patterns.

So how does this happen? When you drink alcohol, it causes your body to produce more of the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. However, as the alcohol begins to wear off, your body's production of melatonin decreases, leading to lighter, less restful sleep. This can cause you to wake up during the night and feel groggy and tired the next morning.

The good (or not so good!) news is that by avoiding alcohol completely you can improve the quality of your sleep and as a result feel more rested and alert during the day. Plus, it has additional benefits, such as improving your overall health, reducing your risk of chronic diseases, and even helping you lose weight.

So why not give it a try? Here are some tips to help you cut back on alcohol and improve your sleep:

    • Set a limit for yourself on how much alcohol you will consume each day or each week. This can help you avoid overconsumption and reduce the negative effects of alcohol on your sleep.
      • Avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime. It takes the body several hours to process alcohol, so drinking before bed can disrupt your sleep. Try to stop drinking at least a few hours before you go to bed.
        • Try non-alcoholic alternatives, such as sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime. This can help you still enjoy the experience of having a drink without the negative effects on your sleep
          • Consider keeping a sleep diary to track your sleep patterns and see how alcohol affects your sleep. This can help you become more aware of your sleep habits and identify any patterns or triggers that may be affecting your sleep.
            • Talk to your doctor if you are having ongoing difficulty sleeping. They may be able to provide additional recommendations or referrals to a sleep specialist.

            In addition to these tips, there are other things you can do to improve your sleep and minimise the negative effects of alcohol on your sleep. For example, you can:

            • Create a relaxing bedtime routine. This can help your body and mind wind down and prepare for sleep. Try taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music before bed.
            • Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. This means keeping it dark, cool, and quiet. Consider investing in blackout curtains or a white noise machine to create a more conducive sleep environment.
            • Eliminate screen time. Avoid using electronic devices, such as smartphones or laptops, in bed, as the blue light they emit can interfere with your body's production of melatonin. 
            • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation. This can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can interfere with your ability to fall asleep. There are many apps and online resources available to help you learn and practice relaxation techniques.
            • Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity can improve your sleep, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime as it can make it harder to fall asleep. Try to finish your workout at least a few hours before bedtime to give your body time to wind down.

            Remember, a good night's sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being. Try cutting back on alcohol and see how it improves your sleep. With a little effort and some simple changes to your habits, you can improve your sleep and feel better rested and more energetic. For more tips check out our post How To Sleep Better

            Brian McCann

            Our Managing Director Brian's expertise in crafting comfortable sleep experiences makes him a reliable voice for all things bedding-related. Brian publishes advice and tips on mattresses, beds and the overall sleep experience based on extensive industry experience.

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