A person trying to stop the endless cycle of evening drinking.

How Do I Stop Evening Drinking?

Last Updated: Fri, March 29, 2024

Drinking alcohol is not necessarily something that automatically means you have an addiction or an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Many people are able to enjoy casual drinking without abusing alcohol or becoming dependent. With that being said, even something as seemingly harmless as evening drinking can become a problem.

It may escalate into something unhealthy where you are dependent on alcohol, or you may find that it is getting in the way of other goals you have. Keep reading to find out how you can stop drinking in the evening and when you should take the steps to do so.

Understand Why You Drink

Anytime you are dealing with an addiction problem, you need to self-reflect and analyze where the problem is coming from. For something like evening drinking, you need to take some time to contemplate why you drink nightly and what triggers this habit.

For many people, evening drinking is simply a way of winding down and relaxing after a difficult day. You may drink a glass of wine as you are making dinner or enjoy a few beers while you watch a movie or a game.

Some other triggers of nightly drinking include:

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Needing a sleep aid

  • Drinking at evening social events

  • Drinking to suppress anticipatory feelings about the next day

Once you have clearly identified why you drink in the evening, it will be easier to find ways to break this habit.

Create Distance From Alcohol

One of the best things you can do to stop evening drinking, if this is an established habit, is to create as much distance from alcohol as possible. Remove alcohol from your home so that it is not easily accessible when you start to have cravings.

If you enjoy social activities in the evening, make sure you don’t go anywhere that makes alcohol more accessible. This is easier said than done, but the key places to avoid are clubs and bars where alcohol is freely flowing.

You should also try to avoid anything that could trigger your alcohol cravings, even in an indirect way. For instance, things like movie scenes with characters drinking alcohol or songs that reference alcohol can make it harder to stick to your goal.

Create a New Evening Routine

If you want to stop evening drinking, chances are it has become something that is taking over the later part of your day. Because alcohol is so addictive, even something as innocent as a nightly glass of wine could easily turn into drinking several bottles every night.

To get out of the habit of evening drinking and to beat the cravings, you need to reinvent your evening routine. Instead of having it focused on alcohol, find something else to center your routine on that will give you direction. This may look something like preparing for the next day, winding down, or finding something that gives you purpose.

Here are some examples of enjoyable activities that can give your evening structure and purpose:

  • Making a home-cooked dinner

  • Meal prepping

  • Taking a bath or shower

  • Watching a movie or reading a book

  • Playing with your pet

  • Tidying up your home

  • Exercising or taking a walk

  • Participating in a hobby

Keep Your Mind Busy

As much as you want your evening routine to be relaxing, you will need to keep your mind busy to distract yourself from your alcohol cravings. Even if you don’t necessarily have a full-blown addiction, you may still crave alcohol in the evening since this is what you are used to.

Using distraction tactics to keep your mind off of these cravings is going to help you avoid caving in. You can try doing deep breathing exercises, meditation, or you can use other forms of entertainment as a way of distracting yourself.

Try to remember that cravings only last so long, and you usually only need to distract yourself for a few minutes to forget about them completely. Most of these cravings should also be completely gone after a week or two of not drinking in the evening.

Attend Night Sobriety Groups

If you have a real issue with evening drinking and you aren’t sure you can stop on your own, there are other options. Some sobriety support groups meet in the evening as this is more accessible for many people, and it helps people avoid falling into nighttime drinking.

Joining a support group is already a crucial step if you realize you have a drinking problem. Choosing to do this in the evening not only helps you with this but also helps to fill the time when you would normally be drinking. You can gain encouragement from others in the group, discuss your own struggles, and find people who can help hold you accountable.

How Do I Know If My Evening Drinking Is a Problem?

It can be difficult to recognize if your evening drinking has become more than just a pleasurable habit. This usually becomes a problem if you progressively drink more and more at night and your nighttime routine starts to focus on alcohol.

It may also be turning into an addiction if you are drinking to the point of blacking out, you have memory issues the next day, you have severe alcohol cravings during the day, or you are drinking specifically for mental health issues. 

Overall, everyone’s situation is going to look a little different, but most people can recognize it when they have a drinking problem. You most likely already subconsciously know this, even if you haven’t fully accepted it.


Even though evening drinking does not always directly relate to alcoholism, it can still be the starting place for a drinking problem. If you feel that it has become unhealthy and is interrupting other aspects of your life, it may be time to nip it in the bud.

These steps can help you quit evening drinking and replace the habit with something more beneficial for your life. There are also options out there for if you are dealing with more severe alcohol addiction and need help quitting evening drinking.

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