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Why does alcohol cause insomnia?


A good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining good health, and developing healthy sleeping patterns can help you obtain the restful sleep your body requires. Nighttime alcohol consumption is a common way for some people to relax or fall asleep.

Even while alcohol has a calming effect on the brain, studies show that it actually decreases the quality of sleep. Explore the article down below to learn more.

Alcohol And Insomnia: The Link Explained

There are many factors that can contribute to insomnia, and one of them is alcohol. While alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, it can actually cause more REM sleeplessness later on in the night.

The effects of alcohol on sleep are two-fold.

  • First, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down brain activity. This can lead to drowsiness and make it easier to fall asleep.
  • Alcohol also disrupts the normal sleep cycle. Normally, we cycle through four stages of sleep: light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep disorder, and awake.

Alcohol prevents us from reaching the deepest stages of sleep and also decreases the amount of time we spend in REM sleep. This can lead to insomnia, or difficulty falling and staying asleep.

So if you’re struggling with insomnia, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether. There are many other things you can do to improve your sleep, like establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and screen time before bed, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

Top 7 Reasons Why Drinking Alcohol Can Cause Insomnia

1. Alcohol Is A Diuretic

This means it causes you to urinate more frequently.  This can lead to dehydration, which can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up more often during the night.

If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, cutting back on alcohol may help. Try to avoid drinking alcohol in the evening or before bed. If you do drink, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

2. Interfere Body’s Natural 

This is because alcohol consumption can lead to sleep disorders, which in turn can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Alcohol can also disrupt your body’s natural sleep cycle by causing you to wake up frequently during the night.

3. Feel Restless And Anxious

If you’re struggling to fall asleep, avoid drinking alcohol before bed. Alcohol can make you feel restless and anxious, making it difficult to fall asleep. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, try avoiding alcohol before bed.

4. Snore Loudly

Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat and can cause your snoring to be louder than usual. It can also cause you to stop breathing for short periods of time, which can lead to a serious sleep disorder.

If you have alcohol use, it’s important to be aware of these risks and take steps to reduce them. There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of alcohol-related snoring and sleep apnea:

5. Lead To Frequent  Trips

If you drink alcohol before bed, you may find yourself waking up frequently to use the restroom. This can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling tired the next day. Alcohol can also cause dehydration, which can make you feel even more tired.

6. Feel Hot Or Sweaty

Sleep Alcohol can make it difficult to sleep because it can make you feel hot or sweaty. When you drink alcohol, your body starts to produce more heat. This can make it hard to cool down and get to sleep.

7. Cause Headaches

If you drink alcohol and then have trouble sleeping, you may be wondering what is causing your headaches. It could be that the alcohol is causing your headaches, which can make it difficult to sleep.

Will Consuming a Moderate Amount of Alcohol Affect the Quality of My Sleep?

Consuming alcohol in small or moderate amounts is likely to have a less disruptive effect on one’s quality of sleep compared to binge drinking.

However, due to the fact that the effects of alcohol vary from person to person, even moderate doses of alcohol might negatively impact the quality of sleep for certain individuals.

In a study published in 2018, researchers compared the quality of sleep experienced by participants who ingested varying amounts of alcohol. (Source: Pubmed)

The following is what was discovered:

  • Even moderate consumption of alcohol, which is defined as less than two servings per day for males and no more than one serving per day for women, was found to reduce the quality of sleep by 9.3%.
  • The quality of sleep suffered by those who drank alcohol in moderate amounts (two servings per day for men and one serving per day for women) was reduced by 24%.
  • The quality of sleep was reduced by 39.2% when high amounts of alcohol were consumed (defined as more than two servings per day for men or one serving per day for women

How To Overcome Insomnia Caused By Alcohol

Understand Why Alcohol Causes Insomnia

There are a few reasons why alcohol can cause sleep apnea. One reason is that alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes your body to lose water.

When your body loses water, it can become dehydrated, which can lead to insomnia. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep cycle by causing you to wake up frequently during the night.

Finally, alcohol can make it difficult for your body to regulate its temperature, which can also lead to insomnia.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol 

It’s no secret that alcohol can help you fall asleep. But, drinking alcohol before bed can actually disrupt your sleep later in the night.

That’s because alcohol can cause you to wake up more often to use the bathroom. It can also make it harder for you to stay asleep. So, if you’re looking to get a good night’s rest, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol before bed.

Establish A Regular Sleep Schedule

One of the best ways to improve your health is to establish a regular sleep schedule. Getting enough sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health and can help you to stay productive and focused during the day.


There are many benefits to exercising regularly, and one of them is that it can help to prevent insomnia.

If you find that you are having trouble sleeping, try adding some exercise to your daily routine. Just a moderate amount of exercise can make a big difference in your sleep quality.

Limit Your Exposure To Light 

It’s important to limit your exposure to light before bed. This is because light can keep you from falling asleep. When you’re trying to sleep, you want to be in a dark room. This will help your body relax and fall asleep.

Use Relaxation Techniques Before Bed

Before you go to bed at night, it’s important to do some relaxation techniques to help you fall asleep.

This can be things like reading a book, taking a bath, or doing some deep breathing exercises. Doing these things will help your body and mind to relax so you can fall asleep more easily.

The Transformation: A Good Night’s Sleep Without Alcohol

Most people who struggle with alcohol addiction also struggle with sleep problems. In fact, insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol disrupts sleep by causing light, fitful sleep and preventing deep, restful sleep. As a result, people who drink heavily often wake up feeling tired and unrested.

The good news is that there are ways to overcome alcohol-induced insomnia and get a good night’s sleep without alcohol.

One approach is to use a sleep medication like Ambien or Lunesta to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. These medications can be effective, but they can also be addictive and come with side effects like grogginess and dizziness.

Another approach is to change your sleep habits. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants in the evening, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

This approach takes longer to work than using a medication, but it’s ultimately more effective and doesn’t come with the same risks.

If you’re struggling to sleep because of alcohol addiction, try one of these approaches to get the rest you need.


Research shows that drinking alcohol can negatively affect the quality of your sleep, and there is a connection between drinking alcohol and having trouble sleeping. So do not overuse alcohol to avoid unpleasant effects.

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