This means that even if you do sleep through the night, you’re likely to feel tired and run down the next day. Sleep problems can also have a big impact on your mental health. Mind’s website has more information about how sleep and mental health are linked.

sober sleep

Within five months after completing substance abuse treatment, 60% of those patients who suffered with insomnia relapsed. Depending on the individual’s history of addiction or medical/psychiatric problems, a physician may be able to prescribe certain medications with a low potential for abuse or dependence. Trazodone is an antidepressant that also has sedative properties, and it has been used successfully for many years to help newly-sober substance abusers with their sleep problems. Too much of this stimulant, found in tea, coffee, colas and energy drinks, can upset sleep and make you feel wound-up as well as tired. As well as feeling worried and irritable, people with GAD often feel tired.

How Sleep Affects Your Telomeres

For someone who’s trying to get some rest, your body is actually pretty active. Disulfiram can help prevent relapse by making you feel sick if you drink. Drinking alcohol on this medication causes nausea, chest pain, throwing up, and dizziness. If you are drunk and you think you can vomit out the alcohol and thus sober up quicker, think again. Once the alcohol has reached your small intestine, vomiting will not expel it.

  • For those in recovery, she suggests carefully taking small doses of tinctures of skullcap, motherwort, and lemon balm from the Lamiaceae or mint family.
  • Make sure you talk to your doctor or therapist about any potential medications or suggestions they may offer as well.
  • When we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking.
  • Develop good sleeping habits, wake up at a reasonable time in the morning, and go to sleep at the same time, roughly at night.
  • Long-established research shows the body metabolizes alcohol differently at different times of day.
  • In 1998, one study found that over half of all alcoholics in recovery who had untreated sleep disturbances experience a relapse within five months.

Surprisingly, we have found that many people aren’t aware of how alcohol affects our sleep and energy, so here is a quick overview. In early recovery, we have stress and anxiety from quitting alcohol, plus rebound REM sleep . Both of these contribute to the likelihood of nightmares about drinking. A relapse dream study done by Massachusetts General Hospital looked at a group of more than 2,000 people who had recovered from significant alcohol or drug use.

Heart rate substantially lower all night when off the grog and triple the amount of restorative deep sleep. The watch provides real data that supports this truth… fun and empowering to see the difference. If I have wine during dinner I try to start the first glass early evening so its out of system before bed.


To help understand your sleep problems, consider keeping a sleep diary. This is a simple sheet you fill in each morning to record how well you slept. If a hot drink helps you get to sleep, you could try a caffeine-free drink like cocoa, hot milk or a malt drink instead. Tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks make it harder to get to sleep.

If you feel sad, low and lacking in energy, and you also wake up tired, you may have depression. Third party websites are not owned or controlled by Bupa and any individual may be able to access and post messages on them.

sober sleep

I make this worse by ordering a pizza and sitting on the sofa all evening as soon as I get back from the flight. I go to bed later than I should, at around 11.30pm, and crash out immediately, but I still feel a bit ropey in the morning.

This can further significantly increase the likelihood of sleep apnea, especially if an individual is to drink heavily within the last few hours before they fall asleep. Develop good sleeping habits, wake up at a reasonable time in the morning, and go to sleep at the same time, roughly at night. It is important to familiarize yourself with those situations and find ways to cope with them or to avoid them entirely. This may make it easier to prevent a relapse.If being around certain people makes you want to drink, then you may need to limit your time with these people or try to avoid them for a while. For example, if you have a friend who drinks heavily and encourages you to do the same, then you might want to cut down on the time you spend with this friend.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Sleep?

We can help advice on addiction recovery, the best treatments, where to go to get help, and how to overcome drugs and alcohol. It is not uncommon to like a little nightcap, but, in the interests of quality sleep, you may consider putting a cap on bedtime drinking. Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption from alcohol also contribute to next-day tiredness, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

Several studies have shown that drinkers sleep less than non-drinkers, with almost no exceptions. On top of the disruption to our sleep cycles, alcohol is also a diuretic, making us wake up often to use the bathroom. If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the hotline is a confidential and convenient solution. Your heart rate is elevated by 11 beats, and you know it’s going to be a long day ahead. You’re tossing and turning, and waking up without knowing it—spending 4.39 percent more time awake throughout the second half of the night.

Non-benzodiazepine sleep medications such as Lunesta or Ambien can cause a person’s risk of clinical depression to double. There are several health conditions that can make you feel tired or exhausted. In this audio guide, a sober sleep doctor explains what you can do to give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep. If you think your tiredness may be a result of low mood or anxiety, try this short audio guide to dealing with your sleep problems.

sober sleep

Because it is such a widespread problem, most premier rehab programs will incorporate various therapies designed to help you get better-quality sleep. The rate of insomnia for the general population is no more than 30%. Two-thirds of people with an AUD have insomnia to some degree. Even over-by-counters are generally ineffective for long-term insomnia lasting longer than a month. Most also contain antihistamines, which can lead to prolonged drowsiness that may last into the following day. This is significant, because up to 50% of people with Alcohol Use Disorders will exhibit symptoms of a major depressive disorder within their lifetime.

How Alcohol Impacts Your Sleep

Escalations in cortisol and core body temperatures during the sleep period contribute to poor sleep maintenance. Abstinent alcoholics tend to have lighter, more fragmented sleep than normal control subjects. Research indicates that it may take as long as one to two years for sleep to return to normal in abstinent alcoholics and that for some it may sober sleep never return to normal. Alcohol disrupts our ability to enter REM sleep, especially in the first half of the night, which is the restorative sleep where we dream. As alcohol is metabolized, a rebound effect is observed and our ability to enter deep sleep is compromised. Deep sleep is critical for bone and blood health, and immune system function.

Even if it doesn’t present as a full-fledged hangover, alcohol-related sleep loss negatively affects mood and performance. People who go to bed with alcohol in their system may be more likely to wake early in the morning and not be able to fall back to sleep, another consequence of the rebound effect. The liver acts as a filtering system for the body, helping metabolize food and chemicals , and pulling toxins from the bloodstream. Like nearly all of the body’s organs, the liver functions according to circadian rhythms. Alcohol interferes with these circadian rhythms regulating the liver, and can contribute to compromised liver function, liver toxicity, and disease. Alcohol is the most common sleep aid—at least 20 percent of American adults rely on it for help falling asleep. But the truth is, drinking regularly—even moderate drinking—is much more likely to interfere with your sleep than to assist it.

sober sleep

It goes without saying, if you have a lot to drink, you may have to frequently get up to go to the bathroom. This makes the body expel more liquid, which can be lost through perspiring as well as having to urinate. Alcohol can lead to excessive relaxation of the muscles in the head, neck, and throat, which may interfere with normal breathing during sleep. I still have the same job, so stress levels are the same – but the stress is much easier to deal with being sober. Problems are more manageable and relationships more harmonious – which contribute to being able to sleep well.

So, What Does It All Mean? A Sleep Expert Offers Her Thoughts

Now that we’ve given an overview of sleep and alcohol, what next? If sleep is an issue for you, I’d recommend visiting your GP and talking through the issue. Often there is a source of sleep problems, whether this is stress or habit, and small behavioural changes can make a huge difference. You can visit a sleep specialist or get some online help to get you back on track. Alcoholic dependence is known Sober companion to experience a frequent amount of movement and the possibility of talking while asleep. There is a high possibility that individuals will physically act out their dreams and even begin sleepwalking around their room and possibly their apartment. Try to relax before you go to sleep, an hour or two before you should do wind-down activities such as taking a bath, reading a book, or meditating.

Posted by: Kristeen Cherney