4 Ways Alcohol Messes with Your Sleep
We know that a nightcap—or three—won't help us drift off into a peaceful slumber. But we didn't know exactly why it sets us up for a restless, sweaty, snore-y, anxious night.
It Reacts Badly with Sleep Aids, Both Prescription and Natural
Many prescription sleep medications should never be taken after drinking, including Ambien, Lunesta and other drugs often given to people suffering from insomnia. "Somebody could essentially stop breathing if they mix alcohol with any of those medications,” says Dr. Reena Mehra
, a sleep-disorder specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. But even natural sleep aids and alcohol don't go well together: Melatonin, a chemical produced by the body to regulate circadian rhythms, which is taken as a supplement to improve sleep, can form a sort of biological echo chamber with alcohol, with each increasing the other's sedative effects