Alcohol and Sleep During Social Distancing

One of the running jokes about our extended “time out” from society during social distancing is that all of us are drinking a lot of alcohol.  Despite bars and restaurants being closed, it’s true that many people are drinking more than usual.  It’s also true that overdoing it can lead to sleep problems.

While it’s true that enjoying a glass of wine, beer, or liquor at the end of a long day of avoiding COVID-19 can relax you, having more than one or two, and particularly having them right before bed, can also keep you from getting a decent night’s sleep.

We’ve covered in many previous articles here at SleepBetter (here’s just one) that it’s a myth that alcohol helps you sleep better.  While it does help you go to sleep, that sleep is less productive.  First of all, you will likely find that your slumber is interrupted multiple times by bathroom breaks.  Also, when the alcohol wears off completely, you may find that you’re laying in bed wide awake.  Finally, alcohol can throw off your REM cycle for hours after you stop drinking.

While it’s certainly understandable that everyone is handling this crisis in a different way, moderation is always the best policy.