Impact of Alcohol on Sleep


Alcohol abuse is the most common and one of the most dangerous substance abuse observed across the world. Although alcohol is legal in most countries, it is a hazard to people’s health and lives if consumed in excess. Unfortunately, every day, we see new cases of alcohol abusers and addicts who suffer because of their inappropriate habit of alcohol consumption. 

Even those who are not alcohol addicts but take alcohol in moderate amounts can suffer from numerous health issues. Alcohol destroys your mental as well as physical health and leaves you so helpless and vulnerable if taken in large quantities. One of the most significant harms it causes you is prolonged sleep. People who consume alcohol are much likely to sleep more and have a much deeper sleep, and ultimately lose their senses along the way.



Alcohol addiction can destroy a person’s health to an edge where people have no choice left sometimes.

Some physical issues and diseases people suffer from are:

· Heart stroke

· Dementia

· High blood pressure

· Liver failure

· Cirrhosis

· Diabetes

· Ulcers

We cannot calculate the amount of harm excess consumption of alcohol causes to our health; it’s immense!

A man drinking whiskey


People suffer from several health issues in which mental issues are the worst ones. 

Mentioned below are some common mental issues people suffer from due to Alcohol consumption:

· Prolonged sleep

· Lack of focus

· Anxiety

· Depression

· Stress

· Dizziness

· Forgetfulness

· Short-term memory

· Blackouts

And the list can go on! 

In 2020, the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, through a qualitative synthesis, found out that unrecorded alcohol consumption goes beyond toxicity. The consequences led to toxic drinking habits, which become worse day by day, and people tend to lose control and their senses. Another issue they mentioned in their study was online businesses of unrecorded alcohol, which; not much discovered yet, but we know that it is happening for sure. And this just means that not much is in our hands in this day and age.


Alcohol intake, whether in small amounts or large, directly affects your mental health. In addition, it affects your sleeping patterns negatively and disrupts your entire health.

According to Sleep Foundation, alcohol has calming effects, and people who consume alcohol think that it is curing their anxieties and depression, but in reality, their brain functions become slow. In addition, due to alcohol, people sleep more, and they think that they are having better and longer sleep, whereas in reality, alcohol consumption leads to poor sleep patterns.

People with alcohol disorders are more likely to face insomnia. In general, moderate drinking is better than addiction, but everybody reacts to alcohol differently, and so it all solely depends on the person consuming alcohol.

Researchers are studying the impact of alcohol on sleep since the 1930s. But, we have no idea of all the aspects of this issue. 

Many studies have revealed that people who consume a massive amount of alcohol before sleep are likely to face difficulty and delays in their sleep. Also, alcohol reduces and weakens the quality of their sleep; they begin to develop a disrupted sleeping pattern.

Lack of sleep is a major and highly harmful issue that can cause several other diseases in the human body. Sleep disruptions lead to reduced attention span, lack of focus, forgetfulness, memory loss, and numerous other disorders.


Insomnia is possibly a major problem faced by alcohol addicts and sometimes even by people who have drink alcohol occasionally. 

Alcohol reduces REM sleep which further causes people who drink a tremendous amount of alcohol before bedtime to face delays in sleep. As a result, their sleep duration reduces, and they face disruption during sleep. Researchers also reveal that people who suffer from this issue feel too sleepy the next day, and this continues, and they remain stuck in this vicious cycle. Over the past few years, many studies have made it evident that alcohol abuse is directly related to chronic sleep disorders.

Occasional drinking of alcohol is not that dangerous, but people who develop a habit of excessive alcohol abuse experience disturbing effects on their sleep.


This is another sleep disorder but very different from insomnia. Individuals suffer from two types of sleep apnea; Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and Central sleep apnea (CSA).

OSA occurs due to any blockage in your throat, whereas CSA occurs when the brain cannot transfer signals to muscles that control the breathing process. 

Multiple types of research and studies have been done on the link of apnea with alcohol, and researchers have concluded that alcohol consumption increases the chances of apnea by about 25%, which is A LOT!

A woman lying on the bed with a glass of wine


If you consume alcohol in less or moderate amounts, it will have less risky effects on a person, and if you drink it in large quantities, it will have an adverse impact on your health. However, it affects every individual differently, so it cannot be said that people drinking alcohol in moderate amounts will not have harmful effects. The study done by the National Library of Medicine in 2018 further explains this phenomenon. This study compared the amount of alcohol consumed by people and how that affected their sleep.

Low amount – less than two servings for men per day and one serving per day for women affected their sleep by 9.3%.

Moderate amount – 2 servings per day for men and one serving per day for women, which reduced their sleep quality by about 24%.

Lastly, anything over two servings per day for men and one serving per day for women reduced their sleep quality by 39.2%. 

Hence, no matter what amount of alcohol you are consuming, it is incredibly harmful to you in one way or the other. And if you are an alcohol addict, get help and regain control over your life.