The Sleep Council - Alcohol & Sleep

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Sleep problem

Postby lacemaker on Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:00 pm

I very rarely drink any alcohol and my husband even less as he finds it stops him sleeping. However I sleep really badly, as does he. I sometimes wonder if alcohol would help me sleep better. I can’t get to sleep and can lie there for hours trying to sleep whereas he will fall asleep quickly but wake again after a couple of hours.
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Re: Sleep problem

Postby lisaartis on Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:41 am

Hi lacemaker

Thanks for posting this. When people don't sleep well, they tend to gravitate towards alcohol as a sleep aid because it does initially relax you and help you fall asleep. However, it does interrupt your sleep later on in the night causing lots of brief awakenings (which you won’t remember) which is why you feel you haven’t slept well the next morning. It also robs you of one of the most satisfying types of sleep, where dreams occur.

Rather than resorting to using alcohol to help you sleep, it would be worth exploring why you, and your husband are not sleeping well. Things to think about: Is work playing on your mind? Finances? Health worries? Are you making time to wind down properly before bed? Do you switch off screens an hour before bedtime? Is your bedroom the right environment for sleep?

You could complete a sleep diary https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/sleep-diary/ for a couple of weeks which may indicate what is impacting your sleep - and could help you put some better sleep hygiene practices into place.

Or alternatively you could use it to take to a GP. From your question, you don't say how long you've been sleeping poorly? If this has been going on longer than three months and for more than three nights a week, it would indicate insomnia which would need further intervention.
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