Will Alcohol Affect Sleep?


Find Sleep Clinics & Specialists »

Quite simply, alcohol does affect sleep. Most people will note that when they have had something alcoholic to drink, they feel quite sleepy, and find they can fall asleep much easier. This is because alcohol is a sedative. However, it would be wrong to assume that drinking before you went to bed was a good, healthy nightcap, as alcohol affects your sleep for the worse.

Alcohol can reduce sleep efficiency and the amount of REM sleep we have. Studies have shown that the more alcohol that is consumed regularly, the less sleep the individual will get. Thus, a disruption to sleep can also cause links to depression, anxiety and so on.

Alcohol can also affect Sleep Apnoea sleep disorders as alcohol dilates the muscles of the lungs, which can increase the chances of blockages that cause stopped breathing in sleep apnoea.

Therefore, if you are looking for a good healthy night’s sleep, alcohol may induce your sleep but will only do more harm than good. Try to avoid alcohol several hours before sleeping to reduce the chances of a disturbed night’s sleep.

Read more in the Sleep Disorders & Sleep Problems Information Guide


Why Doesn’t My Baby Sleep? »