How does alcohol affect your sleep?

Alcohol is one of the most widely used, readily accessible, legal drugs in our modern society. The fact that it’s so common in society often detracts attention from the fact that alcohol can pose a range of negative health implications. Prevalent in the restaurant and nightlife culture, it’s often consumed at the expense of health and with poor judgment. This lack of judgment tends to compound as more drinks are consumed; resulting in somewhat of a snowball effect. Classified as a depressant, alcohol affects the body physiologically by decreasing the efficiency of brain activity, motor function, and sharpness.

Alcohol & The Body

Though some may use this decrease in overall body function as a convenient segue into sleep, it’s not advisable nor wellness-promoting to use it as a sleep aid. The sleepy feeling many people experience after alcohol consumption is not a natural way to achieve sleep, nor is it helpful for achieving long-lasting, healthy sleep habits.

When consumed regularly, alcohol can disrupt many vital body processes, with sleep actually being one of them. Excessive alcohol use suppresses the nervous system, dims the vibrancy of the immune system, negatively impacts moods and throws off digestion. All of these components are closely linked to your sleep cycle, making it advisable to consume alcohol online in moderation.

Alcohol & Sugar

Another thing to consider is the fact that alcohol is essentially broken down in the body as a sugar. Too much sugar in your diet causes inflammation and dysregulation in regards to insulin and blood sugar levels. Furthermore, it’s common for blood sugar to be linked to sleep disruption and being awoken by hunger and/or thirst. Since alcohol is most commonly consumed in the evening, it’s likely that many people experience this when they drink but are partially unaware of it due to their compromised mental state. Needless to say, this is another impact and negative implication of alcohol and the quality of your sleep. It may help you “get to sleep”, but at the expense of your quality of sleep overall.


It’s best to keep moderation in mind, don’t drink excessively and do not count on alcohol as a sleep aid. While it’s understandable that sleep and alcohol are correlated, the takeaway should be that this is not something to take advantage of. Better sleep should ideally be sought through natural methods like blackout blinds, calming essential oils, no electronics around bedtime and even a sleep mask. All of these components can harmlessly impact your sleep for the better; many of them immediately upon use.

For further information on the effects of alcohol on sleep, check out this article.


Helen Sanders is Chief Editor at Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.





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