Alcohol and Sleep

Alcohol may make many of us feel more tired at first allowing us to nod off quickly, but any amount of alcohol can affect the quality of your sleep. Regularly drinking more than the guidelines can make you wake up the next day feeling like you haven’t had any sleep at all.

Sleep Patterns

Alcohol will disrupt your sleep cycle, and drinking regularly can affect the quality of your sleep making you feel tired and sluggish even after you thought you got a good nights sleep.

Drinking alcohol before bed may help you fall into ‘deep sleep’ quicker which is why some people say alcohol helps them drop-off to sleep. While this may be true, as the night goes on you will spend less time in this ‘deep sleep’ and more times in the less restful, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. This can leave you feeling tired the next day regardless of how long you were in bed.


The Effects

Disturbed Sleep

As discussed alcohol may help you get over to sleep quicker but the sleep won’t last long and you may find yourself wide awake in the early hours of the morning.


Alcohol is a chemical substance that can cause vasodilation which is the widening of your blood vessels, this will cause the skin to become warm.

Increased Urination

According to studies, for every 1g of alcohol drunk urine excretion increases by 10ml.

This is obviously not good news if you’re trying to sleep as you’ll be up in the middle of the night going to the toilet a lot more.

As if that wasn’t enough, alcohol can also increase the acidic content of your urine, irritating the lining of your bladder. This can make your bladder feel fuller than it really is.

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Here’s a few tips to help you get a better nights sleep.

  • Stay away from caffeine and alcohol late in the evening. Drink a hot, milky or herbal drink instead to help you relax.
  • Try to stick to a schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time. Doing so will help regulate your body’s clock.
  • Exercise more. Any amount is better than none.
  • Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable. Seeing as we spend a third of our lives sleeping it’s important that you’re comfortable.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps especially in the afternoon.

Use the links below to find more useful information regarding alcohol and your health.



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