Some people use alcohol as a means to help them sleep, but it actually has the opposite effect. While it might make some of us a little sleepier, myself included, it has a huge impact on our quality of sleep. It causes what SELF refers to it as “fitful sleep.” This means that alcohol causes people to wake up more easily in the second half of their sleep.
This one is tricky because as SELF notes, the way we metabolize alcohol depends on many different factors like genetics, diet and body size so it’s different for everyone. Alexea Gaffney Adams, M.D., a board-certified internist at Stony Brook Medicine recommends people stop drinking at least 3-hours before they go to bed. This gives their body more time to process the alcohol. You should also drink plenty of water so that the amount of alcohol you’re drinking is limited.
Another factor that comes into play with drinking is that you’re more likely to have to wake up in the night to go to the washroom which will also interrupt sleep.