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Why do I have trouble sleeping after drinking?

101 Answers
Last Updated: 07/09/2019 at 9:34pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Tanyia Hughes, Adv Dip Psy


I have been through a lot in life too, which helps me to be able to empathize with situations, thoughts and feelings that we have. Sometimes, it's not easy just being human.

Top Rated Answers
September 2nd, 2015 8:19pm
I always have issues sleeping if I drink any sort of alcohol. I think it has something to do with the high content of sugars, etc. That is contained in it. Therefore waking my body up and making me be hyper active. I can drink and go seemingly endless hours with absolutely no sleep. I know other people that have the opposite problem however. They start sleeping for hours after they drink. I guess it depends on your body's structure. So I would be willing to bet that you probably react to the caffeine, and high fructose levels in the alcohol and that keeps you awake.
September 3rd, 2015 7:13am
I usually have trouble sleeping after drinking because the word moderation doe not exist in my dictionary
August 29th, 2015 6:13pm
'Cause your sorrows know how to swim. You are trying to drown your pain in alcohol. But your pain knows how to swim. They float on alcohol's surface, and hound you. With every drink, they are getting better and better at swimming and floating.
August 29th, 2015 12:34am
The reason you may have trouble sleeping after drinking is because alcohol can act like a stimulant. Some people's systems are very sensitive to stimulants like caffeine, or soda, which can keep them awake at night.
September 27th, 2015 5:21pm
Drinking alcohol makes you feel sleepy, but it actually disrupts your REM sleep cycle. This means that while you fall asleep faster, you get MUCH less quality sleep in the long run. It's best to stop drinking two hours before you try and sleep for the highest quality sleep. Hope that helps!
August 21st, 2015 9:11am
to directly answer the question (and it is easily google-able): yes, indeed alcohol does disrupt your primary sleep patterns, specifically deleting or negatively impacting the REM phase (which is the most 'necessary' or 'restful' phase of sleep; insomniacs and those with sleep apnea typically have damaged REM states as well). EtOH intoxication also increases sleep apnea events, even in those who usually do not snore or experience sleep apnea, and additionally (which no one else mentions) the biggest detrimental affect that I tend to notice is the mild to moderate dehydration - this is, incidentally, the most profound trigger of 'hangover' symptoms (i.e. nausea, pounding headache, dry mouth, etc...). Minimization strategy: When drinking, always, always continue drinking water. This has a twofold effect: the volume of the water keeps me from drinking 'too much' or getting as intoxicated due to sheer capacity issues. Also, it combats the dehydration. If you drink water with your booze, you won't get AS drunk, you won't get drunk as quickly, and you will suffer less hangover symptoms which will lessen the Day 2... impacts as well.
August 26th, 2015 9:32pm
Alcohol in itself is something you should do moderately in the first place, my dear questioner. Alcohol affects R.E.M. Phase of your sleep that helps you get the most out of your rest. It can lead to sleep apnea and can disrupt your breathing during sleeping. The higher the dosage, the bigger the reduction of sleep. Drink plenty of water during and after drinking sessions so that you at least dont wake up with a headache. Any sleeping pill or any pill to help you sleep is a big no, dont mix meds and alcohol. Hope i helped.
September 11th, 2015 12:08am
The drink is giving you energy, making your brain more alert and therefore keeping you up. You are full of energy and your brain doesn't want to switch off :)
August 20th, 2015 7:37pm
you are intoxicated, so your body keeps you alert because when you sleep alcohol is much slower eliminated from your organism.
August 19th, 2015 7:13am
Alcohol causes you to initially get sleepy, but then causes you to wake soon after and may keep you up. Then it will cause you to feel un-rested after sleeping.
August 22nd, 2015 1:35pm
If I drink, I fall asleep easily but then am wide awake just a bit later. I have heard that drinking messes with your body clock. Since I always get a major headache after drinking, which may relate to this, I drink very rarely and when I do, I drink lots of water to dilute it and stay hydrated.
August 20th, 2015 2:08pm
Usually I have trouble sleeping after drinking because I am a nightmare of a drunk. I do have a tendency to black out if I drink too much, and that can be a really terrifying thing. Not knowing what you've done in a night is pretty terrible, and so managing my drinking is now a constant commitment.
August 21st, 2015 8:23pm
Alcohol Likely to Keep You Awake, Not Help You Sleep you can drink before bedtime at least 3 hours and try to avoid drinking before bedtime
August 19th, 2015 9:55pm
Are you stresses out? What is the last thing you think about before you go to sleep....and when you wake up
August 23rd, 2015 12:16am
It depends on what you are drinking. If you drink something highly acidic or fizzy it could disrupt your stomach while you are sleeping. If not any drinking could be a problem, even water because its another thing that your stomach has to deal with during sleep. Just like eating food, you should not drink at least 30 min before bedtime. The organs in your body are working during sleep, but they are on an almost "slow speed". They are working at a slower pace so it takes longer for your stomach to digest what is being put inside of it, causing your sleep problems.
August 22nd, 2015 12:48am
Alcohol has various effects on the body including the brain, and it is typical for it to alter sleep cycles. This can be further complicated with other substances in the drink, such as sugar or caffeine.
August 22nd, 2015 4:14am
Alcohol, my friend, it's just pretty weird stuff, sometimes you are ok, and osmeimtes no :p i know, it's hard
August 30th, 2015 5:13pm
Alcohol has a depressant effect at first, but as it is processed in the body it can have a stimulating effect. Depending on the timing of drinking and sleep, this stimulating effect can occur during or right before sleep. This can make it hard to get a good night of rest! Many sleep hygienists will recommend that consumption of alcohol be limited as much as possible for the best sleep!
September 12th, 2015 3:52am
After that first or second drink you may be feeling pretty sleepy! Or perhaps after a long night of drinking the most enticing thing is your bed and hours of sleep. But surprisingly drinking can severely mess with your sleep system. Alcohol can force you directly in to a deep sleep, completely missing the beginning stages of sleep. Once the cycle has been tampered with, it's easy to jump all over the place while the body attempts to revitalize after its night of drinking. You may wake up multiple times during the night for this reason. Also because you may have to vomit or go to the bathroom. You should give your body time to process the alcohol and run through your system before catching those Zzz's or you'll have a heck of a hangover the next day.
November 14th, 2015 8:06pm
Sometimes emotions come to the surface after drinking. Once they show themselves, sleeping is tough.
August 19th, 2015 8:30am
When drinking, you take in a large amount of sugar, which instantly puts your body in to shock. It makes it very difficult to have a continuous and restful night's sleep.
August 23rd, 2015 9:54am
If you mean alcohol, it's probably from all the sugar and it all depends on how much alcohol you have drunk in the evening.
August 23rd, 2015 8:28pm
While drinking alcohol makes it easier to fall sleep, it actually decreases the quality of your sleep. You may want to consider using a different sleep-aid to assist you with falling asleep, to allow you to sleep soundly through the night.
August 28th, 2015 2:38am
Depending on what you are drinking, completely depends on how well you sleep afterwards. I recommend consuming water. If you consume water already and this issue still occurs then i suggest you go down to your local Pharmacy and ask there.
September 2nd, 2015 10:00pm
It really depends on the person. However, sleep can be impacted by the temperature of what you're drinking, the amounts of calories in the drink, how recently you've urinated, and so on. You could be tired, and then drinking something serves to wake you up some more. It really changes per person.
September 5th, 2015 12:46pm
Because you're most likely stressed because of the drinking. Try not to. Do something different, it helps.
September 6th, 2015 4:41am
Consuming alcohol disrupts natural sleep cycles, which effectively means that at a certain BA, REM cycles no longer take place, causing you to sleep more lightly.
September 10th, 2015 6:22am
It is very beneficial to drink water before bed, there are some articles you can read as to why this helps :) But one issue could be that you over-drink and you will feel the need to use the restroom, or wake up later needing to use it. If you mean drinking alcohol that is probably because of the affects it has on your body.
September 11th, 2015 9:13am
Yeah, when I drink I start thinking about things that have happened and I'm either too happy or too sad to sleep. It depends on my mood before I start drinking which way it'll go but I usually avoid alcohol after 10 so that I can get to sleep (with the exception of the occasionally midnight dram of whiskey or champagne toast on New Years and special occasions).
September 12th, 2015 3:53am
The alcohol in your blood keeps you awake. Your mind needs to sleep the initial drunkenness off, but once it has succeeded at that (usually at some obscene hour in the morning) It is often difficult to return to sleep because the room keeps spinning!