At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, there’s nothing that brings us greater joy than witnessing individuals in our community make the courageous choice to free themselves from the grips of alcohol use disorder. If it was an easy thing to do, we wouldn’t call it courageous. It takes courage because it often means fighting for your mind, your relationships, and your health. In the beginning, it can feel like you’re fighting to stay alive. The withdrawal symptoms can make you feel like you’re losing the war.
Arguably one of the most difficult withdrawal symptoms is insomnia, or the lack of sleep that occurs when you stop drinking. Sleep is a basic human need because, without it, we can’t function or heal properly. When you’re working on walking away from alcohol, you need sleep more than anything. Why does this happen? Is it permanent? And how do you get rid of the insomnia that comes after you’ve quit drinking?
Alcohol is sneaky and manipulative. It can make you feel sleepy and relaxed at the time, like nothing can go wrong or like you don’t have a care in the world. But as you sleep, alcohol is disrupting your sleep stages, creating fragmented sleep. Here are some of the ways alcohol impacts your sleep:
The early days of recovery take a lot of strength. It isn’t just that you’re managing withdrawal symptoms – you’re also managing a myriad of mood swings and cravings. Your body is working to rid itself of alcohol and heal, and this takes an emotional and physical toll. Lack of sleep can contribute to reduced cognitive functioning, emotional instability, impaired physical healing, and even relapse.
There is hope. While this is a common symptom of quitting, it’s very temporary and there are solutions. Exercise, healthy foods, adequate hydration, journaling, therapy, and meditation can all work to eliminate insomnia. Alcoholism treatment is an excellent idea for those managing insomnia during recovery, as well. In treatment, you’ll likely receive a combination of medication and therapy so you can focus on your recovery instead of your lack of sleep.
Regular alcohol consumption can lead to sleep disturbances. The severity of these problems varies from person to person. Some may encounter minor disruptions while others face a range of more significant challenges. Here are some common types of alcohol-related sleep problems:
When you stop drinking, your body is working hard to adjust to the absence of alcohol. This can cause insomnia for the following reasons:
Sleep is never as important as it is during alcohol detoxification. It’s during this time that your body is working to repair itself from the years of damage caused by alcohol. During your sleep, the body works on cell regeneration and growth hormones. If you aren’t sleeping well or if you aren’t sleeping enough, your body can’t do the job it needs to do and the likelihood of a lasting recovery shrinks.
Detox can also be hard on the mind and emotions. Many who have gone through it mention heightened emotions, an influx of nostalgic memories, and vivid dreams. When someone has a good night’s sleep, they’re promoting enhanced cognitive functioning and the regulation of emotions/moods. Proper sleep will allow you to better manage anxiety, depression, cravings, and emotional challenges.
Getting this kind of sleep is difficult to do if you’re managing detox on your own. Effective addiction treatment is far more likely to lead to long-term recovery. It can help with things like sleep and withdrawals during that initial detox period, which can help you focus on healing and healthy goal-setting.
There is an important muscle located in the throat that works to keep the airway open while you sleep. Because alcohol relaxes this muscle, it can lead to restriction of your airway. Alcohol also impacts the central nervous system, which controls breathing and the normal functioning of the brain’s respiratory system. This can cause sleep apnea or make already existing sleep apnea much worse – which can be risky if left untreated.
In elementary school, most of us were taught about “needs.” Air, food, water, shelter – these are all basic human needs. Since the beginning of time, sleep has been one of those needs. It’s so important that our Neanderthal ancestors slept, even while managing dangerous predators or elements. This has not changed. We don’t just need sleep to think clearly the next day, we need it to heal and function. Alcohol strips us of meeting that need.
If you or someone you love is noticing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, it might be time to seek treatment. At SUN Behavioral Delaware, we know that every patient’s healing journey is unique. That’s why we offer a large variety of treatment programs for alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol detox happens in the first 72 hours after your last drink. It’s the process your body goes through to flush the alcohol out of its system. During this time, your body is working hard to rid itself of any toxins left behind. This is when withdrawal symptoms usually start, peak, and subside.
SUN Behavioral Health’s Alcohol Detox happens during this time. You’ll come in and meet with one of our clinicians to be assessed for your needs and to create some goals for yourself. People who choose detox stay in our facility so we can monitor their condition, treat their withdrawal symptoms, and help them heal safely and efficiently.
Inpatient treatment provides patients with a stable and supportive environment. Here, they can focus on their recovery while being surrounded by trained and licensed professionals and others who are going through the same thing. The side effects of alcohol use are also treated in this environment.
During inpatient treatment, patients stay on sight at the rehab facility 24/7. They get to experience a wide variety of activities and programs during their day from individual therapy sessions and group sessions to activities such as yoga or hobbies that help rebuild new habits and focus the mind on healing.
If inpatient treatment doesn’t work for your schedule or your lifestyle, outpatient and PHP can help. Outpatient programs can also act as a stepping stone between inpatient and the end of treatment. This type of care usually does not require patients to stay at the facility while being treated. When visiting the facility, patients spend time in customized sessions throughout the day. This can be beneficial for full-time employees seeking treatment because it allows patients to continue to maintain a life outside of treatment.
If you or someone you know is managing the side effects of an alcohol use disorder, SUN Behavioral Health Delaware can help. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our available treatment options, call us today at 302-604-5600 so we can help you get your life back.
Regular alcohol consumption can lead to sleep disturbances. The severity of these problems varies from person to person. Some may encounter minor disruptions while others face a range of more significant challenges, but insomnia is very common during the early stages of recovery.
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows your nervous system and acts like a sedative. If you’ve been drinking heavily for a while, your body has become used to the effects of the sedation. When you suddenly stop, the body often becomes more alert or hyperactive, which can contribute to (or cause) insomnia.
Exercise, healthy foods, adequate hydration, journaling, therapy, and meditation can all work to eliminate insomnia. Addiction treatment is an excellent idea for those managing insomnia during recovery, as well. In treatment, you’ll likely receive a combination of medication and therapy so you can focus on your recovery instead of your lack of sleep.