It is a mistaken belief that alcoholic drinks will help with sleep when in fact it may help a person fall asleep but will not help to keep them asleep. Too often those few drinks can cause a person to wake often through the night and as a result, feeling sluggish, disorientated, and have a lack of concentration throughout the next day. This likely leads to very bad downward spiral as alcohol causes the body to dehydrate which can make insomnia even worse.
Alcohol also contributes to keeping people out of the deep sleep cycle which they need and makes them feel even worse the next day. So how does alcohol combine with insomnia? Alcohol makes the body fall asleep very quickly while at the same time dehydrating your body. Usually the body will wake either for water because of the dehydration, or to visit the bathroom. Your body will never get a chance to fall into the REM cycle of sleep, which is the really important sleep that all of us need. Alcohol will never alleviate a person's insomnia but in fact will make it worse. It is not a trade off to become a person with a drinking problem attempting to compensate for an insomnia condition.
There are many more effective ways to treat insomnia without hitting the bottle! You need to consider what is the cause of your insomnia (see “What Causes Insomnia”) which can be done by yourself or if the problem is very deep seated, see a doctor or a therapist. They can evaluate all of the causes and get into more depth of what could be the underlying cause of the insomnia. Remember that drinking will never help you get a quality nights sleep but what it will do is cause the problem to worsen and the next day in addition to feeling fatigued and lethargic, you will have additional discomfort from the alcohol.
Alcohol and its effects on insomnia might be one of the biggest misconceptions ever. Maybe that is because while a few drinks might actually induce sleep and make one fall asleep faster it is almost as if the sleep that they are getting does not count. It is not the right level of sleep and with the other factors of alcohol mixed in; technically one might as well have stayed up all night.
In other words the sleep did not benefit the body or mind at all. As a matter of fact, most people who have a dependency on alcohol have frequent sleep disruptions, even after the discontinuation of us. Beyond any withdrawal period a persons sleep patterns could very well never return to normal and as a result they may indeed have to battle frequent battles with insomnia for the rest of their lives.