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Alcohol and Insomnia – Booze and a Good Night’s Sleep Don’t Mix

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 6 comments

Alcohol and Insomnia (Transcript)

Hi, I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery and today I’m going to be talking about Alcohol and Insomnia.

It’s something that most of us have suffered from at one stage in our lives. Alcohol can affect your sleep patterns both when you’re drinking and when you’re trying to quit. In fact it’s one of the biggest things that makes people start drinking again is because they can’t get through that first few weeks when, where their sleep, they feel really sleep deprived.

I’ve done a few videos about this in the past and if you want to look at them you can just go through the YouTube channel over on the website. In the first few weeks of quitting alcohol I really couldn’t sleep for the first month but after that initial period I really had the best night’s sleep ever without drinking at all.

The first time that I quit, I couldn’t sleep for almost a month, I had problems sleeping, diminishing problems, I’d problems that were a lot larger at the beginning in the first couple of weeks than they were in the final couple of weeks. But since I’ve quit I’ve had no problems at all.

Sleeping Habits

A lot of people think that drinking alcohol before you go to bed helps you to sleep but the problem is that it doesn’t give you the right type of sleep that you want. It stops you from going into the REM sleep. Another problem with drinking alcohol and sleeping is that you’ll find yourself waking up frequently, or like I used to do, I’d wake up after 3 or 4 hours and because the alcohol was still trying to get out of my system I wasn’t able to fall asleep again, the sedative effect had worn off and that was it, I was just wide awake.

Another problem when you’re drinking alcohol and trying to go to sleep is, sleep apnoea and it’s a dangerous condition where you actually stop breathing for a time when you’re asleep. It’s commonly suffered from by people who are overweight but it does happen to alcoholics.

In general insomnia is not a condition in and of itself, it’s actually caused by other problems, outside problems there’s an underlying cause that’s causing you not to be able to sleep.

Cure: Stop Drinking Long Term

Obviously in this case it’s alcohol that’s causing you to have the sleep problems but there’s one cure for it and that’s just to stop drinking alcohol. It might take a little while to get used to it and for your normal sleep patterns to return but it will come back and if you really need to, go down to the doctor to get a mild sedative to help you just sleep in the beginning but if you can do without it, do without it.

So the message is simple, if your sleeping problems are caused by alcohol then just quit drinking. Like I say, it will take you a little bit of time and your sleeping problems not disappear altogether. Mine haven’t if I have a tense day, if I’m a bit stressed out during the day, then I tend to lose a bit of sleep or find it hard to go to sleep or I might wake up an hour earlier or a couple of hours earlier and not be able to go back to sleep again it depends what’s on my mind. But in general I think not drinking, I’m just having great night’s sleep all around you

So that’s Alcohol and Insomnia if you have any questions about that at all, just leave a comment down below in the box.

Until next time, I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery,
Onwards and Upwards.

Alcohol and Insomnia

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Stop Drinking Alcohol Week 29
Stop Drinking Alcohol Week 30
Stop Drinking Alcohol Week 31

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  1. Bottlenose

    This is the main reason I fail at stopping the drink. After a week or so of no or little sleep I give up. I even take alprazolam and 5mgs of melatonin and still can’t sleep. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Kevin O'Hara

      It was over a month before my sleep patterns became stable, and that’s saying a lot. I don’t think I’d had a good nights sleep in years with all the alcohol I was consuming. You will eventually get there. I can’t tell you how long it’ll take, everyone is different, only how much time it took me.

      • Bottlenose

        Thanks for the reply. I guess it’s a matter of having to be willing to tough it out.

        • Karre

          I find Gravol helps as well

  2. Caroline

    Hi Kevin
    I have suffered with insomnia for years, but never thought it was to do with my drinking habits.
    I realised that I never slept the second night after a binge. I literally dont sleep one wink. These hours of busy thoughts and frustration are starting to take their toll and ingraining themselves on my whole sleep pattern phyc.
    I have stopped drinking for the last three weeks and I am hoping my sleeping pattern will return soon. I have tried all other methods to aid my sleep, which include sleeping tablets, hypnosis, cognitive therapy even water pillows.
    Perhaps the sleeping problem was staring me in the face all the this time in the shape of a large wine glass !!
    Looking forward to some quality zzz

    • Kevin O'Hara

      I wish you well, Caroline. It’s draining. My sleep patterns took about a month to get to normal. When I say normal, I mean better than I had slept in a long time. It takes time for your body to adjust. Be patient.


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