Alcohol Addiction: How It Affects Your Sleep

Alcohol abuse is associated with sleep problems, however, how alcohol makes you feel when going to bed can mislead you into thinking that you are getting a better night’s sleep. Just one or two servings of alcohol can have an impact on your quality of sleep, and make you feel more tired throughout the next day.

Lots of people consume alcohol before bed so that they fall asleep faster. This benefit is hugely outweighed by the disruption alcohol can cause later on in the night to our sleep cycle. Alcohol makes us wake up more frequently throughout the night, which means we don’t get enough deep sleep. This happens due to the following:

  • The biochemicals in our brains become disrupted – and these promote the good sleeping patterns.
  • Alcohol causes dehydration, so we wake up feeling thirsty.
  • The overconsumption of liquids and alcohol’s overstimulation of the bladder makes us need to get up and use the toilet more.

Why is it difficult to sleep well after drinking heavily for a while?

Most people don’t know that following a period of heavy drinking, they will most likely have significant issues with their sleep. If you drink alcohol continuously for a prolonged amount of time, you will develop a tolerance. Your body will also become both physically and mentally dependent on alcohol. You tell this has happened if you need to drink more alcohol to feel its effects.

Stopping drinking all together can be dangerous if you are addicted. If you do this, you will likely experience very unpleasant side effects as the toxins leave your body, disrupted sleep is one of the most common symptoms. Other symptoms of withdrawal can also be so unpleasant that they also disrupt your sleep. If you believe you are addicted to alcohol, then it is best to speak to your doctor and consider rehab.

How can I stop sleep issues from alcohol withdrawal?

Sleep patterns can be so interrupted that people are convinced they have insomnia. Not being able to get enough sleep can have detrimental effects on the body – and teaming this with an alcohol addiction can be very serious. Lack of proper sleep can also cause depression and anxiety, increased risk of accidents, and hallucinations.

The best solution to sleeping problems is to limit your drinking. You can also try to practice healthy sleep strategies including the following:

  • Keeping a regular bedtime
  • Avoid napping in the day
  • Avoid caffeine and stimulants in the evening
  • Exercise daily
  • Find a good book to read before bed, this makes your brain look forward to switching off.
  • Take a warm bath and avoid electronic devices.