Everyone knows that caffeine and nicotine are stimulants.  That’s why so many people rely on them to get them through their day.  Both should be avoided at least four to six hours before bed to prevent them from interfering with our ability to fall asleep.  (And frankly, nicotine should always be avoided.) But what many people do not know is that alcohol is also a stimulant for our brain!  While alcohol will often help you fall asleep, as many wine lovers can attest, after a few hours it actually stimulates your brain, making you wake up more throughout the night and sleep more poorly overall.  For sound sleep, limit your overall alcohol consumption to one or two drinks per day and avoid alcohol for at least three hours – preferably four to six hours – before bedtime.