Top Holiday Sleep Tip from's "Sleep M.D.": Avoid the Alcohol

What's the most important thing to remember so you sleep well during the holiday season? Here's the top tip from SleepBetter's Sleep M.D., Dr. Lisa Shives
Dec. 16, 2011 - PRLog -- (Richmond, Virginia) – In the hectic world in which we live, sleep during the holiday season can often be difficult.  There are a ton of tips to help individuals sleep better this time of year. There are so many, in fact, that sleep news and advice website is listing a dozen of them for 2011 in a series of articles titled "12 Holiday Sleep Tips".  However, SleepBetter's medical sleep expert says the one that is most important to remember is to avoid or at least moderate consumption of alcohol.

"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 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  You can also get sleep advice from SleepBetter on Twitter ( and Facebook (

About Carpenter Co. / 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.’s quest is to continually gather pertinent sleep information, then share this knowledge with the general public. The site also shares tips on the best sleep related products, both in stores and online. has created the Sleep Better seal as a way to easily identify products recommended for their superior quality or scientifically based design. Created by Carpenter Co., the world’s largest producer of comfort cushioning products, provides information and advice that visitors can use to sleep better. For more information, please visit
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