Many alcoholics experience sleep problems associated with alcohol abuse. Most of them may doze off quickly during the day, so they end up interrupting their sleep time during the night.
Excessive alcohol consumption interferes with sleep patterns, that even those who quit alcohol use and become sober experience sleep problems for extended periods.
Difficulties falling asleep during sobriety is one of the common withdrawal symptoms that trigger a relapse.
Common Recovery Sleep Problems
According to the SAMHSA, up to 72 percent of alcoholic abusers experience challenges with sleep. The most common disrupting consequences include a decrease in deep sleep, awakening more often, low sleep quality, and waking up at unusual times.
Further research indicates that sleep problems can continue for several months after stopping alcoholism with recovering alcoholics experiencing sleep onset problems instead of maintaining sleep.
Additional studies also indicate that sleep disturbance can persist for about six months even after the withdrawal symptoms stop. Again, people undergoing alcohol recovery experience episodes of non-restorative sleep and never fall asleep easily.
Insomnia in Humans
Additionally, researchers discovered that alcohol addicts with temporary and lasting abstinence experienced similar sleep problems after quitting drinking. Generally, the onset of sleep worsened more than with sleep maintenance.
Methods of Insomnia Treatment
The initial step for treating insomnia includes sobriety, which has benefited many addicts. However, behavioral therapies are the best options used to treat specific insomnia, instead of medication since they are highly effective without interfering with sobriety.
Several complementary therapies used during recovery to treat insomnia include biofeedback and relaxation therapy, yoga and meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and aromatherapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Sleep issues (CBT-I)
The objective of (CBT-I) is to alter sleep patterns and any mistaken beliefs about sleep and insomnia that affect it.
This technique usually requires consistent, weekly sessions with your therapist. Meetings may involve sleep evaluations, altering existing sleep problem habits, and following a complete sleep diary program.
Medication for Sleep Issues
A typical class of drugs used to treat insomnia includes benzodiazepines. However, these medications can be addictive, so a professional healthcare provider should weigh the risks and benefits first before prescribing them. Additionally, patients can use relapse prevention medications to promote sleep.
Hygiene is highly effective for insomnia treatment. A few ways to overcome insomnia using sleep hygiene includes:
- Sleeping in a dark, peaceful, and comfortable room while ensuring to eliminate any electrical technology devices.
- Maintaining a regular wake and sleep program to adapt your body to the right bedtime hours.
- Developing relaxing bedtime routines such as having a warm shower to relax your body in preparation for sleep.
- Avoid napping mostly for long hours during the day since it reduces the chances of falling asleep during the night.
- Avoid using stimulants such as coffee, soft drinks, and nicotine in the evening because they disrupt patterns.