Nicotine and alcohol are common substances used by people every day. Not everyone struggles with addictive behavior around these substances, but they may experience some of the health consequences. Regardless of whether they develop dependence or addiction, it may disrupt their sleeping pattern. Nicotine and alcohol before bed can disrupt both quantity and quality of sleep. Find out why this occurs and how to disrupt the pattern and achieve greater sleep. 


Nicotine can take a toll on people’s bodies. It ruins their lungs over time, wrecks their hearts, and also causes other issues with sleeping patterns. Using nicotine at night can result in a more than a 40-minute reduction in overall sleep. Nicotine may keep people up at night, whether it is vaping, dipping, smoking, or other means of inhaling nicotine. Limiting nicotine consumption prior to bedtime is the best way to encourage healthy sleeping patterns.

Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine often gets a bad wrap when it comes to sleep disturbances because it is assumed people who drink too much coffee or caffeinated drinks do not sleep well. It is true that it can have a detrimental effect on people’s ability to focus and concentrate, while also keeping them awake. Alcohol is actually a worse sleep disruptor than caffeine. Heavy use of alcohol can create disturbances in the sleep and wake cycles. A brain in withdrawal from nicotine may wake up a person to smoke more, while also creating breathing issues that impact sleep. Alcohol, on the other hand, makes sleeping harder. The body has to work more to break down alcohol, which can have a stimulant effect. Drinking before bed may cause a person to get up earlier than intended, or wake them during important REM sleep, making them tired the next day. Limiting alcohol consumption to one or two glasses of alcohol three to four hours prior to bed is usually best.

Seeking Help for Addiction

When talking about alcohol and nicotine, it is important to highlight symptoms of addiction. People who wake up in the middle of the night to smoke or drink, or cannot stop thinking about when they will be able to get their next fix may be showing signs of dependence. Drinking with the sunrise and having a nightcap each night is also a sign of addiction. There is a lot of difficulty in quitting once addiction starts. It sometimes creeps up on people before they realize it has happened. They may realize they have some symptoms when they cannot stop drinking or smoking, they start experiencing problems as a result of their drinking or smoking or begin having health issues associated with addictive behaviors. It is best to seek help for addiction by speaking with a treating physician, then heading into rehab if there is more work to be done. It is better to address the issues head-on (and underlying root causes) to recover a better life than live with addiction. It may be hard, but it is possible with the right treatment program and support.

A Step in the Right Direction provides quality care for clients seeking support for addiction recovery. Our goal is to teach you how to live better without drugs or nicotine. You can have a life that is fulfilling and meaningful, while also being drug-free. For more information, sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702