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Alcohol Withdrawal and Insomnia

a woman sitting on the ground in the dark and frustrated is enduring alcohol withdrawal and insomnia

Long-term alcohol addiction is one of the biggest health concerns in the United States today, affecting millions of people. While individuals are often willing to quit drinking, the difficulty of going through alcohol withdrawal prevents many from committing to recovery. One of the least discussed but most devastating is insomnia, as the quality of a person’s sleep dramatically affects their ability to function in day-to-day life.

Seeking help in an alcoholism treatment program is the best action to prevent long-term damage to one’s mind, body, and relationships. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs at Evoke Waltham that provide withdrawal management, counseling, and therapy. Our friendly, experienced staff are passionate about serving the community of Waltham, MA. If you want to start your recovery journey, call us at 866.276.1920 to learn more about how we can help you cope with alcohol withdrawal and insomnia.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or achieving restful sleep. It can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Acute insomnia generally lasts for days to weeks and can be caused by stressful events, such as a death in the family or work-related stress. Chronic insomnia can last for months or even years and is often caused by underlying physical or psychological conditions, including depression and anxiety.

The effects of insomnia vary from person to person but can include impaired concentration and productivity at work or school, increased risk of accidents due to drowsiness during the day, decreased libido, irritability, fatigue, and mood changes. Insomnia can also lead to a weakened immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infection. People with insomnia are more likely to experience health issues such as:

  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pains

What Is the Connection Between Alcohol Withdrawal and Sleep

Alcohol withdrawal and insomnia are closely linked. Alcohol has a powerful sedative effect on the central nervous system. So when someone stops drinking abruptly, they may experience difficulty sleeping or even insomnia. This is because the individual’s body is no longer accustomed to functioning without alcohol, and it may take time to adjust.

The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person and will depend on several factors, including how much alcohol was consumed, for how long, and how quickly it was stopped. Generally speaking, there are three stages of alcohol withdrawal:

  • Early withdrawal (days one through two)
  • Acute withdrawal (days three through five)
  • Protracted withdrawal (lasting up to six months)

During each stage, different symptoms may present themselves, including insomnia. Insomnia during protracted withdrawal can be particularly risky, as an individual may attempt to return to alcohol use simply to be able to sleep normally.

A rebound effect can often occur when someone stops drinking alcohol after a period of heavy consumption. This rebound effect can cause an increase in energy during the day, which can make it difficult to sleep at night. It is also worth noting that alcohol disrupts the circadian rhythms that control a person’s natural body clock and can further complicate one’s ability to sleep soundly during withdrawal.

When insomnia occurs during alcohol withdrawal, it is essential to address the underlying cause of sleeplessness, and any other physical or psychological symptoms experienced since these could be signs of delirium tremens (DTs). DTs are a severe form of alcohol withdrawal characterized by confusion, disorientation, heightened sensitivity to light or sound, and visual disturbances such as hallucinations. If DTs are suspected, a medical intervention must be sought immediately, as severe harm or even death is possible.

Start Your Journey to Recovery at Evoke Waltham

In an alcohol addiction treatment program, patients are constantly monitored by the treatment facility’s medical team. This way, patients are at less risk of succumbing to DTs or other dangerous symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Evoke Waltham offers various services to help you or your loved one get through the initial withdrawal period and begin recovery on the right foot. Some services include Comprehensive medical assessment, Customized treatment plans for each patient, various therapies and counseling services, and aftercare planning.

We are committed to helping each patient achieve lasting recovery, and our staff of experienced medical professionals and addiction specialists are here to help. Contact us at 866.276.1920 to learn more about how we can help with alcohol withdrawal and insomnia.