Unfortunately, alcohol is used as a common a sleep aid in the general population. A number of sleep related surveys over the past 2 decades indicate that between 25% and 28% of insomniacs at one time or another used alcohol to help them fall asleep. Many of these individuals reported that the alcohol was initially effective for their sleep problems. When alcohol is ingested, it tends to, in most healthy adults, lead to more rapid sleep onset time or initiation of sleep. It increases the amount of non REM sleep (including light, stage 1 and 2 sleep), and reduces the amount of REM sleep we get (also known as dream sleep). Restricting or reducing the amount of REM sleep we get can have a detrimental effect on our overall sleep quality. Simply put, when we are REM sleep deprived, we lack the good quality, restorative sleep. As alcohol is quickly metabolized in our bodies, the blood concentraton levels of alcohol are negligible about halfway through our night. This results in some withdrawal symptoms, which translates to an increase or return of shallow, light sleep the second half of the night. Additionally a person may experience repeated awakenings, nightmares or vivid dreams, night sweats, and overall restless, tossing turning type of sleep. In summary, although alcohol may induce sleep more effectively in certain individuals, it almost always impairs sleep during the second half of the night. Such sleep disturbances here can contribute to daytime fatigue, daytime sleepiness, impaired concentration, and drowsy driving. On a more serious note, chronically relying on alcohol as a sleep aid leads to an increased risk of alcohol dependence and alcoholism. High doses of alcohol cause significant sedation in the early part of the night, and therefore can contribute to sleep related breathing disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It certainly sounds like your alcohol consumption could be part of the bigger issue of your poor sleep quality, and daytime symptoms. It is most reasonable to discuss this issue with your medical provider or contact a board certified sleep specialist in order to thoroughly evaluate your Insomnia and discuss an individual treatment plan for you.