Alcohol is not your friend when it comes to sleep

What should you never do before bed?

I’d imagine many people might say “drink coffee.” I would have - I’ve avoided caffeine after 7pm since reading up on the factors that affect sleep quality.

But a new long-term, broad study (over 700 participants over 14 years) has found that alcohol is EVEN WORSE than caffeine for disrupting sleep quality.

Here are the details:

  1. People self-reported their consumption of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine before sleeping, and wore wrist bands that gave an objective measure of sleep quality

  2. The study controlled for other factors like age, gender, weight, and mental health

  3. In terms of negative impact on sleep, it goes: nicotine, alcohol, then caffeine.

We’ve actually done some more research on this, and it turns out alcohol has a serious detrimental impact on quality of sleep. There’s an exercise we’re putting out soon in the Drinker’s Helper app about “Alcohol & Sleep,” and another exercise, “Better Sleep,” that will go into the things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep (other than not drinking before bed).

If you’re interested in cutting back or quitting drinking, we’d love to help. Join the Drinker’s Helper community by downloading the iOS app and getting support, empathy, advice, and motivation to stick with your goals.

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