What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Sleep?
Alcohol may significantly impact the quality and duration of sleep. While it may initially induce drowsiness and facilitate sleep onset, it can contribute to interrupted and disturbed sleep later in the night.
Here are a few of the various ways that alcohol can affect sleep:
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is essential to consolidation of memories and mental functioning. Alcohol consumption can reduce REM sleep, resulting in decreased cognitive abilities the following day.
Alcohol can cause recurring awakenings throughout the night, resulting in a disturbed sleeping rhythm. This can lead to feeling less revived and more tired next day.
Alcohol causes snoring and increases the risk of apnea or sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing briefly stops during sleep. These disturbances can also impair sleep quality.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it stimulates the production of urine. This can lead to dehydration, which may disturb sleep by causing you to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
Delayed onset of sleep Although alcohol may help you fall asleep faster initially, it can cause delayed onset of sleep later on in the night. This can result in a sense of being less rested, even after an entire night of sleep.