It is now well and truly official. Alcohol does NOT help you sleep. This assertion may go against the popular belief that a 'nightcap' will calm your nerves and help you sleep, but science has spoken!
According to Sleep Medicine Specialist Dr. Dianne Augelli, alcohol contributes towards you NOT falling asleep. Dr. Augelli made the claim during a frank conversation with Rehab 4 Alcoholism.
Dr. Augelli said: "Drinking a nightcap or having alcohol may be much worse for your sleep than using an electronic device.
"Some people will [drink alcohol] thinking it helps them fall asleep faster when it actually can cause a lot of problems.
"What alcohol does is it decreases the amount of REM sleep that we get. REM is important for consolidating memories and learning from the previous day. People who snore and have obstructive sleep apnea will have more muscle relaxation of their airway muscles. That will worsen their snoring and worsen their breathing at night. That can also impact their sleep quality."
Dr. Augelli explains that alcohol decreases drinkers’ REM sleep. REM is vital for consolidating our memories and learning from the previous day.
"Depending on the amount of alcohol you drink, it definitely can cause more fragmentation of your sleep, which can have daytime symptoms, including decreased concentration and excessive sleepiness," Augelli concluded.