The clinical services offered through this website are provided by Bicycle Health Medical Group, PA and Bicycle Health Provider Group Inc., that are independent, physician-owned medical groups. For more information about the relationship between Bicycle Health, Inc. and the Bicycle Health Medical Group, PA and/or Bicycle Health Inc. and the Bicycle Health Provider Group Inc., click here. Both have the power to change your life for the worst, and you may not notice the subtle signs of addiction as they develop. Even if the two substances together do not cause intense sedation and respiratory distress, they have the potential to alter your coordination. If you become confused and disoriented and you walk while impaired, you could fall, trip, or experience some other kind of accident that could lead to cuts, bruises, or broken bones. “If you add alcohol on top of , it makes you stay in a light sleep,” Breus explains.

pills with alcohol

Dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating, and impairment in thinking and judgment can occur. Do not drive or operate machinery if you have taken a medication to help you sleep. The Study Psychologist helps you with questions regarding study motivation, balancing your studies and free-time and performance anxiety.

If you are hoping to drink alcohol with your sleeping pills to feel a fuzzy or blurry high, this is also cause for concern. Sleeping pills, whether prescription, over-the-counter or herbal, are used to promote drowsiness in people who have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. A survey from 2017–2018 found that around 8.2% of American adults3reported taking medication to help them sleep four or more times in the past week. “Cognitive behavior therapy is more effective than sleeping pills, it lasts longer and has no side effects when mixed with alcohol,” he says.

Side effects of anticholinergic drugs include the typical reactions such as drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. However, blurred vision, delirium, and hallucinations may occur, as well. Your doctor may be able to tell you about some side effects if you have asthma or other health conditions. Sleeping pills can interfere with normal breathing and can be dangerous in people who have certain chronic lung problems such as asthma , emphysema, or forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . Between a third and half of Americans have insomnia and complain of poor sleep.

14 percent of all zolpidem-related emergency room visits involve alcohol alone in combination with zolpidem. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some of these medications, such as the benzodiazepines, are best used only in the short-term for sleep due to risk of addiction and central nervous system side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever been dependent upon alcohol, opioids or other prescription medications, or recreational / illicit drugs. Mixing alcohol and sleeping pills can have additive sedating effects from both drugs, and the combination can cause someone to stop breathing, which could cause death. Sleeping pill labels warn against using alcohol while taking the drug. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Librium, Valium, and Xanax are anti-anxiety medications. Halcion is an older benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic medicine that has largely been replaced by newer medicines.

Findings highlight the need for taking a responsible vacation while in recovery use screening in the context of insomnia and for delivery of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia to women veterans with insomnia. A health survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4% of adults reported over-using prescription sleep aids in the last 30 days. Because there are so many types of sleeping pills, the advice isneverto mix prescribed, over the counter, or natural sleep aids, such as melatonin or Benadryl medications with alcohol. Taking prescription sleeping pills with alcohol can cause serious adverse effects. When taken together, their side effects may be enhanced, which can lead to a potentially fatalsleeping pill overdose. Manufacturers of popular sleeping pills like Ambien and Lunesta have issued warnings about the dangers of mixing sleep aids with alcohol.

Mixing sleeping pills with alcohol can diminish your breathing to a dangerously low level—a potentially life-threatening scenario. If you’re concerned that concurrent use of alcohol and sleeping pills is impacting your health or that of someone close to you, substance abuse treatment programs can help. American Addiction Centers, parent company of Alcohol.org, is a nationwide provider of addiction treatment facilities. AAC’s admissions navigators are available 24/7 to discuss your treatment options today. On their own, zolpidem and other sleeping medications can be habit-forming and can cause negative health repercussions—but taking sleeping pills with alcohol is very risky. Doing so on a more regular basis may indicate the presence of a substance abuse problem.

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Rather than promoting better sleep, combining these two substances results in poor sleep quality. In the first hours after drinking and taking a sleeping pill, a person may feel tired, fatigued, and be able to fall asleep quickly. However, the sleep they are obtaining usually isn’t good, quality sleep. Both alcohol and sleeping pills are depressants, so they should work together to promote better sleep, right? Well, this is actually a common misconception about mixing alcohol and sleeping pills. Because both sleeping pills and alcohol have a sedative effect, mixing the two might seem harmless.


Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex , Cerner Multum™ , ASHP and others. Barbiturates were used more frequently in the past to help with insomnia.

What’s more troubling is that a “shocking” number of Americans reportedly misuse these pills, taking them far longer than intended or not as directed. Furthermore, a study by researchers at Brown University and the University of Rhode Island reportedly found that 60 percent of people taking prescription drugs that are not to be taken with alcohol do still drink. This is why it is important to slowly wean yourself off of sleeping pills rather than just abruptly stop them. You can also consider withdrawing off of both substances under the care of a medical team and addiction center that can offer dual treatment and help you deal with rebound insomnia that may occur. And while some of these medications can have a beneficial effect on one’s cognitive and energy output, over-using sleeping pills or mixing pills with alcohol can be extremely dangerous. Find out why mixing sleeping pills with alcohol is a potentially deadly combination.

10-20% of Americans use over-the-counter sleep aids each year, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. You may also say or do something that you regret while under the influence. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, and sleeping pills can impair your memory. This can lead you to settle scores or get into difficult conversations without even remembering that you have done so the next day. Research published in Current Psychiatry Reports suggests that a very low dose of antidepressants given right before bedtime can help most people to fall and stay asleep.

If you cannot imagine your life without a sip of alcohol in it, you could be dealing with an addiction issue. Alcohol is a part of many cultures worldwide, playing a part in many people’s social and personal lives. Regular alcohol use does, however, have downsides that sometimes go unrecognized. Pick up the phone and call now to start your recovery journey today. Although each of these medications is unique, they all reduce consciousness and interact significantly with alcohol. Drinking alcohol while taking these medications may also reduce their efficacy.

Dangerous combinations of sleeping pills and alcohol may suppress breathing or affect the heart. However, combining both drugs is dangerous because injuries or fatalities can also occur as a result of impaired judgment and coordination. In fact, the two drugs impair the mind so much that it makes simple activities much more difficult and dangerous. It can turn something as simple as crossing the road or driving into something deadly. Some of these sleep-inducing drugs, which bind to the same receptors in the brain as do benzodiazepines, include Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata. They are somewhat less likely than benzodiazepines to be habit-forming, but over time can still sometimes cause physical dependence.

Lunesta and Alcohol

Their ability to alter brain chemistry and trigger changes that make drug use compulsive can be augmented with alcohol, and that could make an addiction appear in a very short time. When alcohol and benzodiazepines are combined, this can lead to significantly impaired breathing. It is difficult to know how much alcohol a person must drink or how many pills are required to bring this problem about, as it depends on many factors, including one’s age, tolerance to both drugs, weight, and genetics. In addition to altering brain chemistry, benzodiazepines can sedate key portions of the brain, leading to slower breathing rates and a slower heartbeat. It’s this attribute that makes mixing benzodiazepines with alcohol so very dangerous.

Mixing Lunesta and alcohol can increase nervous system side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. Drinking alcohol after taking Lunesta may also result in impaired thinking and judgement. Our community offers unique perspectives on lifelong recovery and substance use prevention, empowering others through stories of strength and courage.


Most sleeping pills are classified as “sedative hypnotics.” That’s a specific class of drugs used to go to sleep or stay asleep. Sedative hypnotics include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and various hypnotics. If you or a loved one is struggling with repeated use of alcohol and sleeping medicine, recovery is a phone call away. Our compassionate staff at Agape Treatment Center helps guide individuals on a path towards recovery.

Side Effects of Mixing Sleeping Pills With Alcohol

Contact us today to learn more about treatment for alcohol and sleeping medications. Drinking alcohol while taking sleeping pills could be a sign of alcohol addiction or sleeping pill addiction, and is considered a form of substance abuse. Underlying conditions like depression and chronic pain can rob you of a good night’s sleep. Treating these issues could help you avoid having to rely on substances, including alcohol and sleeping pills. Drinking alcohol while taking diphenhydramine may increase the sedative effects of alcohol. Side effects9such as drowsiness, dizziness and slowed breathing may be more intense, and there is an increased risk of overdose.

You may have trouble concentrating or thinking, lose good judgment, or impair your memory or reflexes. Barbiturates, another group of drugs in this sedative-hypnotic class, depress the central nervous system and can cause sedation. Short- or long-acting barbiturates are prescribed as sedatives or sleeping pills. But more commonly, these hypnotic drugs are limited to use as anesthesia. They may not realize that alcohol is still in their body when they take a sleeping pill. Others intentionally mix the alcohol with sleeping pills either for recreational purposes or to intensify their sedative effects.

Detox gives you the opportunity to remove the influence of alcohol or sleeping pills from your system without putting you in further physical or psychological danger. A detox program typically takes approximately one week, with the height of your symptoms developing between the first and the third day. For short-term insomnia, your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills for several weeks.

Finally, when taken together, it’s possible for sleeping pills and alcohol to be fatal. Most commonly, death occurs because both sleeping pills and alcohol can depress the respiratory system, and the person stops breathing. Combining sleeping pills and alcohol substantially increases the risk of an accidental overdose. No, most medical professionals think that alcohol is actually quite bad for sleep over time. Benzodiazepine medications sometimes used as sleep aids include Ativan, Valium, Restoril, and Halcion.

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