If you consume significant amounts of alcohol, insomnia may be a problem that you are dealing with or have dealt with in the past. Perhaps you have recently changed your lifestyle and have observed a link between alcohol withdrawal and insomnia. According to estimates, a whopping 60 million Americans have trouble sleeping and insomnia is a chronic issue for 40 million Americans. There is really nothing more frustrating than having trouble falling asleep after an exhaustive and strenuous day of hard work. Two-thirds of American adults drink alcohol and this figure has been remarkably consistent and stable over the years. For many of these drinkers of alcohol, insomnia is a chronic issue they must deal with. Let's take a look at two groups that often face issues with sleeping: Current alcohol users and recently recovering alcoholics.
Alcohol and Insomnia
Like many Americans, you may think that drinking alcohol is a perfect way to become sleepy and relaxed. While this is true to an extent, consuming beer poses a major risk to the quality of your sleep. Did you know that beer has an even more negative influence on the quality of your sleep than caffeine? It is well known that consuming alcohol will dehydrate virtually every part of your body as well since it is a diuretic, which forces you to pass a good deal more water than you normally would. This leads to the loss of fluid from the body. You will feel thirsy all throughout the night if you consume alcohol to try to fall asleep. This means that instead of sleeping, you will find yourself headed to the kitchen for a glass of water. If not the kitchen, you will spend a good portion of the night in the bathroom. If you consume excessive alcohol, insomnia is likely to be an issue for you.
Alcohol also produces adrenaline in the body, which will negatively impact the quality of your sleep. Large amounts of alcohol consumed in the evening can narrow airpassageways leading to sleep apnea. If you consume alcohol, insomnia may be a vicious cycle you have to deal with. You may become dependent, which actually exacerbates insomnia.
Alcohol Withdrawal and Insomnia
Alcohol withdrawal refers to the overall condition and group of symptoms one faces from abruptly ending alcohol consumption after a period of prolonged use. One of the major issues that many recovering alcoholics face is insomnia. It can be difficult adjusting to having to fall asleep all of a sudden without alcohol. Even people who have enjoyed sobriety for several years report periodic cycles of difficulty in sleeping. An abnormally rapid heart rate and low blood sugar can cause insomnia. Alcohol withdrawal can actually cause one to have an accelerated heart rate and years of alcohol consumption can lead one to have low blood sugar, a condition known as hypoglycemia.
Treatment of Insomnia
If you choose to improve your ability to fall asleep with alcohol, insomnia will not be treated properly. This will actually put you in a vicious cycle where the quality of your sleep will continue to diminish. You need to drop the alcohol and change your lifestyle in order to overcome insomnia. Let's take a look at some steps you can take to defeat insomnia:
Adhere to a strict sleep schedule: Maintain consistency throughout the week in terms of the time you get up and go to bed. Your body will slowly settle down into a rhythm but repetition is key.
Enjoy relaxing activities: Before bed, try soaking in a hot tub with epsom salt and have some scented candles and light music in the background. This can really refresh and relax you. Most imporantly, you will be ready to fall asleep afterward.
Don't try so hard: It is important that you avoid making such a big deal of having to fall asleep. Let it happen naturally by reading a book or watching a movie until you become drowsy.
Start exercising: Daily aerobic exercise is shown to improve quality of sleep, mood and vitality among individuals. Go out for an early morning job every day. Not only will you feel energized throughout the day, you will be able to fall asleep after a hard day's work.
Avoid naps: It may be very tempting to take a quick 20 or 30 minute power nap after a tough day on the job. However, you should avoid naps because they can make it challenging to fall asleep at night, which is what you want.
Limit caffeine: Recovering alcoholics often turn increasingly to caffeine. However, caffeine intake must be limited or eliminated entirely in order for you to enjoy a good night's sleep according to your sleep schedule.
Avoid large meals and large drinks before bed: Large meals interfere with quality sleep and large drinks will force you to have to visit the bathroom throughout the night. Both should be avoided to effectively deal with insomnia.
Check your meds: If you are taking medications, check with your doctor to determine if they are contributing to your insomnia.