9 doctors weighed in:

Do benzodiazepines disrupt sleep quality and sleep architecture to the same degree as alcohol?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marsha Davis
Internal Medicine
5 doctors agree

In brief: No

Alcohol puts you to sleep and increases slow wave sleep then awakens you about 4 hours later and you do not sleep well and becomes disruptive to sleep and the sleep is non restorative .
Benzodiazepines increase stages 1&2 and decrease slow wave or stage 3 sleep. It is also not restorative sleep and has been shown in ICU patients to contribute to sleep deficit and delirium.

In brief: No

Alcohol puts you to sleep and increases slow wave sleep then awakens you about 4 hours later and you do not sleep well and becomes disruptive to sleep and the sleep is non restorative .
Benzodiazepines increase stages 1&2 and decrease slow wave or stage 3 sleep. It is also not restorative sleep and has been shown in ICU patients to contribute to sleep deficit and delirium.
Dr. Marsha Davis
Dr. Marsha Davis
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Dr. Donald Jacobson
Psychiatry
4 doctors agree

In brief: No

Alcohol is far worse.
The hynogram is incredibly jagged in appearance with all the arousals and awakenings and getting up to urinate from the alcohol. Bemzodiazepines are no where near as disruptive and they don't knock out the benefits of antidepressants like alcohol often does, for up to 72 hours.

In brief: No

Alcohol is far worse.
The hynogram is incredibly jagged in appearance with all the arousals and awakenings and getting up to urinate from the alcohol. Bemzodiazepines are no where near as disruptive and they don't knock out the benefits of antidepressants like alcohol often does, for up to 72 hours.
Dr. Donald Jacobson
Dr. Donald Jacobson
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1 comment
Dr. Gabriela Cora
Both alcohol as well as benzodiazepines disrupt sleep quality and architecture. The degree of the disruption depends on the amount and frequency you take. One glass of wine may be good for your health and one benzodiazepine prescribed by your physician for insomnia may be helpful for a short period of time. Avoid drinking alcohol in excess, avoid using benzodiazepines without a prescription by your physician, and avoid long-term use of benzodiazepines.
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