Sad News: Booze Doesn't Help You Sleep Better

Damn you, science. You had to go ruin that for us, too
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

For those of us who accidentally stain our bed sheets with spilled red wine, here's a study that ruins our habit of a glass of red before bed.

Researchers at The London Sleep Centre found that while alcohol does help people fall asleep, it doesn't help them stay asleep. The review looked at 20 previous studies, examining 500 subjects who drank various levels of alcohol before bed.

Even though everyone fell asleep easily with the help of alcohol, regardless of the amount of alcohol, researchers found that people who drank tended to have their sleep disturbed. They woke after falling asleep, and deep REM sleep was reduced in subjects who had more than two drinks (although two drinks is sort of weak).

"Alcohol on the whole is not useful for improving a whole night's sleep," Irshaad Ebrahim, who helped conduct the review, told Live Science. "Sleep may be deeper to start with, but then becomes disrupted." So what, booze doesn't actually help people sleep, and the "breaking the seal" thing is actually true? Give us a break, science.

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