How Long After Drinking Can I Take A Sleeping Pill (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 hours

Drinking is seen as a taboo in many countries. But in western countries, it is a habit among many people. Drinking has become a kind of fashion in today’s youth. Although a wide percentage of people in the world are habituated to drinking, it is not regarded as a safe drink to consume by doctors. According to reports, around 2 billion people worldwide consume some type of alcoholic drink, and among them, almost 76 million people are addicted to alcohol.

The effects of drinking are physical as well as fully psychological. If you are drinking heavily, then it will lead to anxiety and depression. Not only that, it changes the behavior of a person greatly. It causes aggressive behaviors in a person such as violence, suicide, and a change in normal behavior. One of the most common incidents which we notice very much is drinking and driving. Every year many people are killed by drunk driving. This causes legal problems and fines. In some cases, it may lead to jail.

How Long After Drinking Can I Take A Sleeping Pill

How Long After Drinking Can I Take a Sleeping Pill?

Types of Alcoholic DrinksInterval of Time Required Before Taking Sleeping Pills.
shot of liquor6 hours
pint of beer5-6 hours
a glass of wine4 hours
a few drinksmore than 6 hours

The exact answer to this question is six hours. The exact minimum amount of time between consuming alcohol and taking a sleeping pill is six hours. Yes, you heard it right. You should never combine alcohol and sleeping pills. Not only sleeping pills but other medications should also not be taken while consuming alcohol. Because if we take any medicine with alcohol, the liquor will completely change the way the medicine works. Also, certain medicines can change how anyone after drinking feels the after-effects of them. If alcohol and sleeping pills are consumed together, the sedative impacts of the sleeping medications will be increased by alcohol to a great extent.

Symptoms that will occur if anyone consumes alcohol along with sleeping medications include:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Nausea 
  3. Vomiting
  4. Severe headaches
  5. Impaired breathing 
  6. Frequent fainting
  7. Changes in emotion
  8. Behavioral change
  9. Abnormal behavior
  10. Memory loss
  11. Impaired motor control
  12. Delirium
  13. Slowed speech
  14. Not able to stand up

If sleeping medicines are taken in overdoses, they can cause disturbance to the central nervous system of the human body. The central nervous system regulates breathing in the human body and most importantly brain function and heart rate.

Why does it take that long to take sleeping pills after drinking?

The effects of sleeping medicine on a person’s mind and body are similar to the effects of alcohol. For this reason, the mixture of these two substances is very deadly and life-threatening. The sleeping medication and the combined depressive effects of alcohol can cause an overdose. If this occurs then the heart rate and breathing will slow down and sometimes stop together leading a person to die immediately. So, one should avoid taking sleeping pills while consuming alcohol. But if they must take sleeping pills, they should at least wait for 6 hours before taking any kind of medication. Recent medical research has shown that alcohol and sleeping pill usage is linked with parasomnia.

Parasomnia is the abnormal thing a person performs when he/she is asleep. These behaviors can include–

  1. Sleepwalking
  2. Sleep talking
  3. Eating while asleep
  4. Driving while asleep
  5. Sexsomnia i.e., doing sex while sleeping
  6. Aggressive behaviors while sleeping.

This happens because according to the California University, alcohol interferes with staying awake and falling asleep. So if anyone mixes sleeping pills and alcohol, then, sleep interruption from alcohol and seductive effects of sleeping pills combine to create an intoxicated state of mind and health. In this state, a person being completely asleep while their body is awake. Individuals belonging to this state might engage in risky behaviors like sleepwalking, sleep-driving, etc. without even realizing it. Parasomnia activities increase the risk of getting an injury and also hurting others which poses a risk for other individuals. 


One of the major problems in our present-day society is drinking habits. The effect of this drinking habit causes dangerous and serious health-related problems. Drinking can cause many problems to a person and most of the time the person doesn’t even know it or ignore it. The most important side effects of drinking are noticed in the health effects of a person. It causes death. For instance, drinking alcohol causes cancer. Three types of cancer can happen like stomach cancer, liver cancer, and cancer in the kidneys. Besides this, drinking causes damage to your neurons. Neurons help in the movement of the body. So it hampers body movement. It also causes loss of appetite and depression. Other serious effects like cirrhosis of the liver are also caused by drinking if you are drinking heavily each day.

So we should think before drinking. Because prevention is always better than cure. Before you think of drinking, always ask yourself, is it wise to play with my health?


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


    1. I think it’s important that people have access to clear, accurate information about alcohol consumption and its consequences.

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