Fact: Alcohol Will Mess Up Your Sleep, and Here’s How

A hand holding a glass with red currant alcohol.

Some people who battle insomnia may resort to some extreme measures to try and fall asleep every night. Some will do things like get blackout curtains for their rooms or put on soothing noises to help them drift off. Others use alcohol to try and make themselves pass out, though.

Alcohol use disorder symptoms are many, and one of them can be using alcohol every night to try to go to sleep. There are other ones to watch out for, but if you are utilizing alcohol every night to try and get some rest, that’s a likely sign you have a problem.

Let’s talk about alcohol and sleep right now. Even though some people use it to try and get a restful night of sleep, doing so can actually have the opposite effect.

Why Do Some People Remain Convinced that Alcohol Can Help Them Sleep?

It’s true that if you imbibe enough alcohol, that’s likely to make you pass out. The alcohol overwhelms your system, and you lose consciousness. However, that does not mean you can expect a healthy, restful night of sleep.

For one thing, you will not be able to sleep as deeply if you rely on alcohol to make you lose consciousness. You will not be able to reach the deeper, non-REM levels of sleep that scientists and doctors associate with better health.

You will also probably wake up easier. If you have ingested a great deal of alcohol, you may need to get up to urinate more during the night than you normally would. There’s also the possible hangover to contend with the following morning if you have overindulged.

Person in bed holding an alarm clock showing 7 o'clock, trying to sleep off the effects of alcohol.

Are There Better Ways To Get a Good Night of Sleep?

Earlier, we mentioned getting blackout curtains and using sleep apps to help you sleep. Those are great ways to get to sleep that don’t involve alcohol, but there are many others as well.

You might stop using your phone or looking at any other screens for at least an hour before bed. Studies indicate that watching TV or looking at screens right before sleeping can make falling asleep more difficult, so that’s behavior you want to avoid.

You might also take an over-the-counter sleep aid. There are some different ones on the market, and you can try them until you find one you like.

Some Additional Possibilities

You can also make sure to get to bed at the same time every night. Doing so will train your body that it’s bedtime at a certain time of the evening.

You might try meditating before bed. That can quiet your mind, so it’s easier for you to fall asleep. Some people find they can sleep easier if they have a calming cup of hot tea before bed. Others take a hot shower to relax before turning in for the night.

Alcohol is not the solution for insomnia. Drinking too much might make you pass out, but you will not get the restful sleep for which you were hoping.

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