Sunday, November 05, 2006

Alcohol and sleep

Question: Will drinking a glass of wine at bedtime help me to get a better night’s sleep?

1 to 2 drinks of an alcoholic beverage will often help a person to fall asleep. Larger amounts of alcohol, when used on a regular basis, can interfere with the ability to fall asleep. Any amount of alcohol near bedtime can lead to awakenings later in the night, as the effect of alcohol is wearing off.
Alcoholism can lead to insomnia that may last for 2 years after alcohol use is discontinued.
Alcohol can make snoring and obstructive sleep apnea worse. Persons with untreated sleep apnea should avoid alcohol near bedtime.
Rather than treating your insomnia with alcohol, a better option is consulting with a primary care physician or sleep specialist for safer and more effective treatments.


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