Break the Cycle of Drinking Yourself to Sleep

Even a couple of drinks of an alcoholic beverage before bed can lead to REM sleep suppression, short-circuiting your cycles and pushing you headfirst into deep sleep. While you might be out for the count quickly, this depletes sleep quality, which can result in shorter sleep duration and more sleep disruptions. Alcohol may aid with sleep onset due to its sedative properties, allowing you to fall asleep more quickly. However, people who drink before bed often experience disruptions later in their sleep cycle as liver enzymes metabolize alcohol. This can also lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and other issues the following day.

You may need a Sober October more than you think. Experts explain how to do it right – CNN

You may need a Sober October more than you think. Experts explain how to do it right.

Posted: Sun, 02 Oct 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

That is why alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal treatment is administered by medical professionals. Doctors have found that on its own, alcohol can narrow your upper airway and lead to sleep apnea problems, even if you have never had them before. Studies have shownthat when you get up the next day, you may be less alert because of your drinking the night before, even though you no longer have alcohol left in your body. The duration of these sleep stages can vary by person and by age. Throughout the night, your brain will cycle through all of the sleep stages multiple times to give you a good night’s rest. Having a drink before bed may seem like a way to relax and unwind. However, alcohol is actually detrimental to getting a good night’s rest.

Can’t Sleep Without Alcohol? Issues With Drinking To Fall Asleep

Tracking sleep is then more of a data point on your way to improving your HRV. For example, a group of researchers found that groups with high anxiety and low HRV have poor attention. Decision making is negatively affected by lower HRV and positively affected by higher levels of HRV. People with higher HRV levels demonstrate a better ability to control memory and a better ability to suppress unwanted memories, according to Dr. Mannino. HRV is measuring the activity of the vagus nerve, neuroscientist Dr. Michael Mannino said during an online talk I attended through the Flow Research Collective last month.

How long before bed should I stop drinking?

When using alcohol, the longer you go without it before going to bed, the better your sleep will be. One study on the topic recommends abstaining from alcohol six or more hours11 before going to sleep for the best results.

Moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms typically last 72 hours and slowly dissipate in the days and weeks after. A reported 25 to 75 percent of people undergoing treatment for alcohol can’t sleep without alcohol use disorder had insomnia symptoms and poor sleep during alcohol withdrawal. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about how to improve your sleep quality.

Tip #4: Stop telling yourself you’re going to be awake all night.

This process of powering up and then slowing down helps to further slow activity in the brain. Your brain spends more time in this stage of sleep than in other stages.

  • Today, Chris is an Alcohol Recovery Coach and the creator of an online course called Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0.
  • Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term.
  • One of the most significant of these is by suppressing rapid eye movement sleep.
  • Just as important is having access to professional addiction treatment programs.
  • Some evidence suggests that alcohol is more reinforcing in non-alcoholic people with insomnia than in people without insomnia, suggesting an increased likelihood of alcohol use in people with insomnia.

The information we provide while responding to comments is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The responses to comments on are designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition. Quitting drinking and not being able to sleep sucks… but now you have some strategies to help! I can’t guarantee that what worked for me will work for you. But I find a tremendous amount of fulfillment in the idea that something I’ve learned can help others break free from the same horrible state of body and mind that once tortured me. Get minutes of sun each day.Sunlight soon after you wake up can help burn off excess melatonin in your system, helping to reset your biological rhythm.


Early recovery can be a difficult time, because trying to get and stay clean can be very challenging. It is our mission at Encore Outpatient Services to help individuals learn the skills to navigate living a life in recovery and improve their lives. A sober journal—or even just a regular journal has been a timeless way to gather one’s thoughts and organize them by putting them to paper.

In my opinion, NAC in particular is an underrated solution for anxiety and insomnia during post-acute withdrawal. It wasn’t until after I began supplementing with magnesium taurate that I realized that much of the anxiety, jitters, and general malaise I felt during post-acute withdrawal were simply symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Passion flower stimulates GABA receptors more gently than benzodiazepines, and has been clinically shown to help adults fall asleep more quickly. It’s generally a good idea to limit the quantity and frequency of drinking altogether, especially in the evenings before bedtime to ensure a good night’s rest. To that end, here are a few alternatives to reaching for the bottle when you’re trying to relax. Falling asleep and getting a full night’s rest are real problems that need to be managed effectively to maintain sobriety. Thankfully, sleeping without alcohol is an achievable goal if you follow several recommended strategies.