Shaking this addiction and learning to sleep without alcohol can be difficult. The idea of attempting to sleep without alcohol can cause anxiety, which can lead to more drinking, perpetuating the cycle of alcohol abuse. It’s harder to wake the person as they become unresponsive to outside stimuli. This stage is what is referred to as “restorative sleep” – when the body works to repair itself and boost functions.
I still use lemon balm and chamomile on a near-daily basis, and I use passion flower with great results whenever I have serious trouble sleeping. I still take ashwagandha because it has anti-aging benefits, and I feel more calm when I take it. Treating these conditions https://ecosoberhouse.com/ may be necessary as some individuals experience insomnia due to other health issues. A 2019 study showed that individuals who sleep for under 6 hours each night have a 20% higher chance of heart attack than individuals who sleep between 6 and 9 hours.
Types of Insomnia
Insomnia experienced during alcohol withdrawal is one reason that people stopping alcohol use often seek professional help. Between 25 and 72 percent of people in treatment for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) complain of sleep problems, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). These sleep issues can include insomnia, disrupted sleep patterns, sleep apnea, or other sleep-disordered breathing.
This can lead to sleepiness, and may lead you to think it’s easier to fall asleep when using alcohol at bedtime. However, alcohol is known to negatively affect the quality and duration of sleep1, and using it to sleep can be counterproductive. Would one experience these alcohol withdrawal symptoms if they drank 2 to 3 drinks a night and then quit cold turkey? I have recently decided to quit in order to cut out my sugar in an effort to better my cholesterol.
Alcohol & Sleep: Dependent on Alcohol to Sleep
Small amounts of alcohol may cause short-term sleep disturbances, but frequent and large quantities of alcohol consumption may lead to chronic insomnia for certain individuals. It can seriously suppress the immune system, impair cognitive and motor function, and increase the risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and more. Sleep problems also contribute to irritability, anxiety, and depression, which can seriously impact those in recovery. Psychological withdrawal symptoms often include anxiety, depression, and intense cravings. In cases of excessive, long-term alcohol use, more severe symptoms such as confusion, and convulsions may occur.
Exercising or being active before bed can help you sleep3 by making you more tired. Exercise can also boost endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that enhance mood and your ability to relax. The fact that you are here, reading this, and taking it seriously is a major step toward better sleep. Frequent consumption of high-carbohydrate foods, caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners will perpetuate the cycle of poor sleep. Instead, researchers suggest adopting a largely plant-based diet that incorporates lean proteins and high-fiber foods, such as those found in the traditional Mediterranean and DASH diets.
Remedy #2: Magnesium and Epsom Salt Baths
Self-reported sleep quality improved over 4–6 weeks of treatment and all but two patients remained abstinent. It was also not always clearly stated that subjects were abstinent from cross-tolerant sedatives in addition to alcohol. Studies also failed to differentiate insomnia symptoms from an insomnia disorder, which is characterized by the additional burden of daytime impairment and/or psychological distress attributable to the sleep problems. alcoholic insomnia Insomnia disorders are more likely to have a chronic course, to require independent treatment, and may contribute more directly to relapse during alcohol recovery. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes brain activity to slow down. Alcohol has sedative effects that can induce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, but the consumption of alcohol — especially in excess — has been linked to poor sleep quality and duration.
- However, it is also important to note that many people experiencing insomnia during withdrawal and recovery also had insomnia before they became dependent on alcohol.
- Stopping alcohol use removes this sleep aid, potentially leading to difficulty initially getting to sleep.
- This can also make it hard to fall back asleep if you are woken up in the middle of the night.
- We will now proceed to discuss why it’s so difficult to sleep during alcohol withdrawal, followed by my Top 10 Remedies to resolve insomnia after quitting drinking.
Taking any other substances that have a sedative effect should be avoided unless a doctor prescribes them. Doing so without medical supervision can trigger a new addiction to another substance. By Buddy T
Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, featuring neurologist and sleep expert Chris Winter, shares strategies for sleeping better at night. People in recovery are often more likely to have problems with sleep onset than with sleep maintenance, which is why some might conclude that they can’t sleep sober.