Are you one of the 55 Million Americans that believe having a nightcap will help you sleep better? It may not be as effective as you think according to the website WebMD.

You’ve had a hard day. A million things are running through your head as you get ready for bed. You know you’re not going to get to sleep easily. A cocktail or a glass of red wine (or two) will help, won’t it?

In reality, while the depressant-nature of alcohol can help you nod off, even one or two drinks can affect the quality of your sleep. And if you regularly have more than one drink or beer you can wake up the next day feeling like you haven’t had any rest at all.

One of the largest studies to date on alcohol’s effects on sleep shows that drinking alcohol before bed may disrupt sleep and increase wakefulness in healthy adults -- affecting women more than men -- regardless of family history of alcoholism.

So what’s going on? If it helps me fall asleep, why isn’t it a good thing? According to Medscape Family Medicine, that beer, wine, or cocktail reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep – the restorative phase of sleep when dreaming happens. Less REM sleep means more daytime drowsiness and less ability to think clearly during the day. Plus, as the alcohol wears off, you are more prone to awakening during the night.

All the other people on the line or in the office will know that you came to work tired, groggy, and with a headache - and do you really want to face the music with a hangover?