There is a clear connection between alcohol and insomnia in certain individuals. Although when most people drink alcohol in moderation, it relaxes them and makes it easy to fall asleep, some people are affected differently. The emergence of a common condition called “alcohol insomnia” has become very popular and is usually found in people that drink beyond moderation over an extended period of time (e.g. alcoholics). The reason that alcohol is linked to insomnia is due to a number of different things including: the atmosphere in which you drink, the time of day/night you drink, and how much alcohol you have.
Does alcohol cause insomnia?
Although alcohol itself does not usually cause insomnia, it can lead to insomnia symptoms over the long term if abused. Most people stay up late drinking with friends, and they condition their bodies to being up (even though their biological clock is telling them that they should have been asleep hours ago). Pushing though feelings of tiredness (when you know that you should go to bed) is not healthy for your sleep cycle and can cause insomnia.
Since alcohol depletes your brain of serotonin over time, and blocks alpha brain waves (e.g. you cannot relax), it will be tough to fall asleep. This is because your brain becomes conditioned to the relaxation that you get from alcohol and it is unable to relax naturally after being chemically influenced for a period of time. So can alcohol cause insomnia? Absolutely, especially if you drink on a regular basis.
Additionally, as you build up a tolerance to alcohol, it produces a ton of biological changes within your body that push you to stay awake until you have your alcohol “fix.” Usually, this “fix” becomes a larger amount each time and it will be very tough to actually fall asleep if you don’t get enough to drink. Plus, when you finally do fall asleep (more like “pass out”) your quality of sleep will be significantly reduced.
Alcohol withdrawal insomnia
Alcohol insomnia can also be caused by withdrawals. If you are going to withdraw from this substance after drinking for awhile, it is best not to do it “cold turkey.” The side-effects of withdrawal can be very difficult to deal with if you do not have the help of a professional. People have reported hallucinations, black outs, memory problems, depression, and anxiety. Although alcohol is socially accepted, it is a poison – even when used in moderation, it is going to have a terrible impact on the quality of your life; especially your sleep.
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