While alcohol may seem like a sleep aid, it can have detrimental effects on sleep. Alcohol interrupts the most restful part of the sleep cycle and can cause issues with getting a good night of rest.
Alcohol can make you sleepy. That’s because it depresses the central nervous system. While alcohol can help healthy people to fall asleep quicker because it makes you drowsy, alcohol is not a viable solution as a sleep aid. Over time, you also develop a tolerance to the sedating effects of the alcohol.
Alcohol interferes with the restorative part of the sleep cycle, called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. And the more you drink before bed, the more significant the impact. Alcohol also increases the likelihood of sleepwalking, sleep talking, and having problems with memory. In addition, alcohol can suppress breathing. This can cause or exacerbate the onset of Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder with periodic pauses in breathing throughout the night. This results in sleep that is not restful because the body wakes up without enough oxygen. Untreated Sleep Apnea also increases the chance of death.