Give Now

A Moment of Science

Nightcap

Nightcaps may indeed help you fall asleep faster, but it's going to hurt your quality of sleep. Learn more on this Moment of Science.

Nightcaps may indeed help you fall asleep faster, but it’s going to hurt your quality of sleep. Alcohol can cause you to awake frequently in the night, reduce the amount of deep sleep you get, and cause you to wake up earlier than usual in the morning. The overall effect is that you end up feeling tired the next day. And thus you might be tempted to use alcohol to fall asleep the next night and the night after that and so on.

Strikingly, a large number of recovering alcoholics who participated in a study on insomnia in recovery from alcoholism claim to have had problems sleeping for some years before their alcohol dependence developed. And it’s an established fact that trouble sleeping is also one of the major triggers of relapse among recovering alcoholics. Recovering alcoholics have difficulty both falling asleep and staying asleep, and this is a serious problem for people who are trying to recover from alcohol dependence. Though there is not enough data at this point to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between insomnia and alcoholism, the connections between the two are noteworthy. It’s enough to make you reconsider using alcohol as a sleep aid.

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from A Moment of Science:

Support for Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science

Search A Moment of Science