"People need to know that alcohol ultimately disrupts sleep even though it seems to act as a hypnotic," said Dr. Lisa Shives (a.k.a. The Sleep M.D.), who is a contributor to SleepBetter.org and one of only a few practitioners with a fellowship in Sleep Medicine in addition to board certification by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.
Hypnotic drugs and sedatives have a primary purpose of causing an individual to fall asleep, and alcohol can indeed make you feel an overwhelming urge to sleep. However, as Dr. Shives says, that effect doesn't last for long.
"It does make people sleepy at first but then as the etoh, or ethanol, is metabolized, people often end up wide awake in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep."
In the end, alcohol leads to maintenance insomnia, or difficulty staying asleep.
The simple answer to this problem is, of course, to avoid alcohol at holiday parties this year. However, if you choose to partake, moderate your use of alcohol and try to stop two to three hours before bedtime.
For more tips to make the most of your family's sleep, please visit SleepBetter.org. You can also get sleep advice from SleepBetter on Twitter (http://twitter.com/
About Carpenter Co. / SleepBetter.org
SleepBetter.org is dedicated to helping people sleep better. Designed as an online resource, the website creates a forum for visitors to define, discuss, and discover solutions to their particular sleep needs. SleepBetter.org’