Do you have trouble falling asleep? While it might be tempting to have a glass or two of wine before bed, think again. Insomnia is often accompanied by restlessness and anxiety, but alcohol can make you feel drowsy and relaxed. This might seem like an ideal combination when you need to wind down, but it can actually cause complications.

Alcohol might make it easier to fall asleep, but it can have a negative impact on the overall quantity and efficiency of sleep.

What’s the problem?

Drinking alcohol before bed can also throw off the body’s circadian rhythm, or biological clock. Sleep is disrupted on a night of overindulgence and it may produce a rebound effect on the quality of sleep in the nights that follow.

The consistent consumption of alcohol before bed can cause sleep problems or make existing ones worse. Alcohol can worsen snoring and abnormal breathing during sleep in people with obstructive sleep apnea. It can also increase symptoms in those suffering from restless leg syndrome.

While alcohol does not directly cause sleep apnea, it can cause weight gain and obesity, which are common risk factors for this condition. And for those with existing sleep apnea, it can exacerbate their condition. In the end, it prevents them from remembering to use their continuous positive airway pressure machine.

If you are having trouble sleeping, contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about sleep apnea and how you can establish a healthy nighttime routine to focus on improving your sleep hygiene–and don’t drink alcohol to try to sleep.