Alcohols Effects on Sleep in Alcoholics PMC

Since workers have to sleep at different times than usual, they use different strategies to induce and improve sleep quality, including alcohol consumption [87,88,89,90]. While alcohol can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep for a few hours, it’s important to note that alcohol’s sedative effect wears off during the night. Still, you may think drinking before bed is a good idea if you have trouble relaxing and falling asleep. Researchers have noted a link between long-term alcohol abuse and chronic sleep problems. People can develop a tolerance for alcohol rather quickly, leading them to drink more before bed in order to initiate sleep. Those who have been diagnosed with alcohol use disorders frequently report insomnia symptoms.

Chronotype can be conceptualized as being categorical (“morning”, “evening”, and “indeterminate” or “neither” types) or dimensional (ranging from extreme morningness to extreme evenigness) in nature. The “evening” type (greater eveningness) individual prefers a later bedtime and a later rise time and has a greater need for sleep. This chronotype is commonly seen in adolescents and those with psychiatric disorders. Conversely, the “morning” type individual (greater morningness) prefers an earlier bedtime and an earlier rise time. As children grow older and approach adolescence, many of them may experience a shift towards eveningness, a phenomenon seen commonly in boys [11]. Beyond the second decade of life, individuals tend to revert back towards morningness [12].

Why Does Alcohol Make Me Sleepy?

If you think your drinking may be impeding your sleep or overall quality of life, speaking to your doctor or therapist is a great first step. If your drinking is impacting your sleep or overall quality of life, you may want to make a change. A great first step is to speak with a trusted loved one, a primary care doctor, or a therapist about your desire to make a change. The morning after a night of over-imbibing can cause some temporary effects on your brain. Things like trouble concentration, slow reflexes and sensitivity to bright lights and loud sounds are standard signs of a hangover, and evidence of alcohol’s effects on your brain.

does alcohol cause insomnia

Ultimately, no two cases of insomnia are the same, and no treatment plan is right for everyone. Anyone experiencing insomnia should speak with a doctor to learn more about what treatments may work best for them. An uncomfortable sleep environment can make getting a good night’s rest challenging. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Your daily habits and environment can significantly impact the quality of your sleep.

Quick Tips for Better Sleep

Of adult Americans, as many as 70% drink alcohol, and half of these experience an alcohol-related problem at some point in their lives. These problems are likely to be more prevalent among the 10% of Americans who drink alcohol daily (8,9). The association of insomnia with alcohol use disorders suggests that the clinical evaluation of patients with sleep problems should include a careful assessment of alcohol use. Future studies of this relationship should employ prospective designs with standardized, validated measures of both sleep and alcohol use. Rigorous treatment studies for chronic insomnia in alcohol dependent patients are also needed. Insomnia is a disorder that prevents someone from achieving a restful night’s sleep.

  • In addition, REM suppression could result from decreased activity of the acetylcholine system, because alcohol inhibits acetylcholine release in the brain (Valenzuela and Harris 1997).
  • Being a sedative and depressant of the central nervous system, alcohol can increase feelings of tiredness and sluggishness.
  • Specifically, we found that, among people who work primarily at night, there were 33.7% of workers who engaged in harmful drinking behaviour, and 7.7% reported binge-drinking in the past year.
  • This article reviews the relationship between alcohol and insomnia, including how alcohol can affect sleep quality alongside the risks of poor sleep quality.

Many persons with self-reported insomnia do not demonstrate objective sleep abnormalities on polysomnography (10). These definitional and methodological issues make interpretation of the literature difficult. Behavioral studies suggest that up to 2 to 3 standard drinks before bedtime initially promotes sleep, but these effects diminish in as few as 3 days of continued use. When people in America notice they’ve developed issues falling asleep, their first reaction is often to have a drink. This may help many fall asleep on occasion; however, the use of alcohol, even a single serving, will make it more difficult for someone to reach deep sleep, also known as REM sleep. Without deep sleep, our mind and body are unable to do what’s necessary to prepare for the next day.


However, these findings could not be replicated in a larger sample (Brower et al. 1998). Finally, several other clinical outcome studies detected no relationship between SWS measures and relapse (Clark et al. 1998; Drummond et al. 1988; Gillin et al. 1994). Several animal studies addressed the possibility that sleep disturbances in early development could lead to heavy alcohol consumption later in life (e.g., Hilakivi et al. 1987). In these studies, newborn rats were treated with various antidepressants, resulting in reduced levels of REM sleep compared with untreated rats.

does alcohol cause insomnia

If you go to bed with alcohol still in your system, you may experience headaches, frequent awakenings, night sweats, more intense snoring, and nightmares. The intensity of insomnia will dictate whether an individual seeks treatment with either prescription or over-the-counter medications, or self-treatment. The majority of persons with sleep difficulty do not consult their physician with insomnia, which raises the question of how frequently alternative substances are used for sleep (6). Both insomnia and sleeping pill use increase with age, and alcohol is often used in conjunction with over-the-counter sleep medications (27,28). Vivid dreams and nightmares — With alcohol in your system you’re more likely to have intense, colorful dreams and nightmares as you sleep patterns ebb and flow. You may or may not remember them, but they can be lucid or give you a feeling that you are half awake and half asleep.

Less REM sleep

This could mean that they aren’t reaching a deep level of sleep, are waking several times through the night, or can’t fall asleep to begin with. Any of these possibilities mean that when the person wakes, they aren’t feeling rested. In the long-term, however, it can be detrimental to one’s mood, energy level, physical and mental health, work performance, and quality of life. In addition, subjects who had been symptomatically infected with COVID-19 in the last six months were excluded from the study. These exclusion criteria were considered on the basis of the influence that both drug therapies and particular living conditions might have on sleep quality.

If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an alcohol addiction, reach out today. Treatment providers can connect you with programs that provide the tools to help you get and stay sober. Someone looking for treatment for their Insomnia, without taking their alcohol use into consideration, could make the problem worse.


อีเมลของคุณจะไม่แสดงให้คนอื่นเห็น ช่องข้อมูลจำเป็นถูกทำเครื่องหมาย *

Previous post Why Does Alcohol Mess With My Sleep? The New York Times
Next post Código O que é, conceito e definição