Giving Up Alcohol Sleep Problems

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Call our local number 01603 513 091
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Too much alcohol in the human body provides greater effects on the entire body system. It provides some sleep problems at night, which may adversely affect the body itself.

It is quite challenging to deal with the different symptoms of too much alcoholism in the human body. Numerous research studies noted that sleep problems like insomnia are one of the challenging side effects of alcoholism.

This kind of sleep disorder sometimes emerges in the initial stages of the person’s withdrawal. This sometimes lasts for how many months after symptoms had dispersed.

Sleep disorders like insomnia could be substantial since it hinders individuals from functioning towards full capacity in everyday life.

It would be better to know the different symptoms of this sleep disorder so that everyone has the chance to resolve the problem with ease.

This kind of sleep problem will be prevented if people know how to deal with them appropriately. To find out what is the treatment for alcoholism that’s causing you sleeping issues, it is best to consult with a specialist.

Alcohol Withdrawal Sleep Problems Symptoms

Sleep problems like insomnia due to excessive alcohol in the body can be recognizable because of their symptoms.

This kind of sleep disorder may present itself in some different ways, such as:

  • Frequently waking up at night
  • Cannot sleep at all during night-time
  • Have frequent nightmares, resulting in restlessness
  • Always feeling tired
  • Feeling of anxiety when a person is trying to take a nap
  • Still exhausted although just waking up from sleeping

These symptoms mentioned above tend to worsen some other symptoms like depression and mood swings, and these effects are common to a person who has a lack of rest and sleep.

That’s why it’s crucial to know the root cause of this sleep problem so that anyone can adequately address the dilemma.

Many people suffer from common problems because of alcohol use.

Some of them easily fall asleep, but too much alcohol use disturbs the sleep patterns during the middle part of the night.

If a person always takes too much alcohol, he may perhaps experience sleep disorders or problems.

According to Shawn Currie of Calgary University, this may cause an average individual to sleep sooner than normal days.

The true impact of alcohol on the human body is to fall asleep faster, especially if a person is exhausted from work throughout the day. You may feel significant sleep issues after you quit drinking.

The majority of heavy alcohol drinkers who stop drinking have trouble sleeping at initial days of abstinence; this is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal, which causes many drinkers to relapse.

How Does Alcohol Affect Sleep Patterns?

Alcohol is one of the most common alternative solutions of many people to help themselves to fall asleep easily.

Almost 20% of adults believe that when they drink alcohol, they can sleep well.

But what they didn’t know is that drinking too much alcohol or even moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages would be a reason to interfere with their sleep at night.

So, instead of assisting them in falling asleep due to drinking alcohol, they experience sleep disruption at night.

With this claim, does it mean that anyone should stop taking or drinking alcohol? Well, the answer is ‘No”.

However, as part of a smarter and better lifestyle is to properly manage alcohol consumption to have a sound sleep at night.

With proper alcohol consumption, a person will not experience circadian rhythms and sleep interference.

How Does Excessive Alcohol Affect Circadian Rhythms?

Circadian rhythms of the body are essential. These are mainly governed by the brain biological clock, which is a small portion of the brain that has a big role – to manage circadian rhythm throughout the human body.

These circadian rhythms nearly regulate all processes in the human body – from immunity and metabolism to sleep, energy, cognitive functions, mood, and even sexual drive.

On the human body, too much alcohol disturbs the circadian functioning, which directly interferes with the capacity of a brain biological clock in synchronizing itself.

And since circadian rhythms contain a powerful and dominating influence on the body functions, disruptive effects of excessive alcohol could be widespread, affecting sleeping at night.

This may also affect some other systems, including poor liver function, leaky gut, depression, and constantly disrupted cycles of sleep-wakes.

For a clearer understanding of these things, below are the explanations about those problems:

Poor Function of Liver

The liver is the human body that serves as the filtering system that helps to metabolize the alcohols, chemicals, and foods in the body.

This also helps in pulling significant toxins from the human bloodstream.

Liver also functions according to the circadian rhythms. Once an individual has excessive alcohol in his body, then the alcohol interferes with the circadian rhythms that regulate the liver.

This will then contribute to liver dysfunction, disease, and toxicity.

Leaky Gut

Guts of the body plus its microbiome often recognized as the second brain of the body, and they operate under some robust activity on the circadian rhythm.

Based on research studies, a leaky gut condition may be experienced due to circadian interference, and this is because of excessive alcohol consumption.

The circadian rhythms, which can be thrown out in synchronization, may weaken the gastrointestinal tract’s lining, which makes it vulnerable to the so-called “permeation.”

Permeation is a leak that allows toxins, food, and bacteria to take off from the intestines as they enter the human bloodstream.


There are some complicated relationships among alcohol, depression, and alcohol.

People who suffer from depression could already have disturbed circadian rhythms. Moreover, the presence of alcohol in the human body can push those rhythms from out synchronization.

"The complex relationship between alcohol, depression, and anxiety can lead to significant challenges. If these issues resonate with you, our guide on How to Reduce Anxiety through Alcohol Abstinence may provide insights and strategies to help

Disrupted Cycles of Sleep-Wake

Alcohols are incredibly effective in suppressing melatonin, the primary facilitator in sleeping and a regulator of cycles for sleep and wake.

Some research studies claim that a moderate dosage of alcohols up to one hour before going to bedtime could reduce melatonin production by around 20%.

Alcohols directly impact the circadian rhythms, reducing the capability of the brain biological clock in responding to light cues, which keep it in sync.

The alcohol effects on the biological clock may persist even there’s no additional drinking.

There is also evidence that alcohols affect the body regulator on the sleep-wake cycle – the inner sleep drive.

The use of alcohol can elevate adenosine level, a chemical on the body that regulates sleep by naturally rising on the body and gradually blocking other chemicals, which stimulate wakefulness.

The adenosine-boosting impacts of alcohol provide a night of better sleep to an individual and can even throw the natural cycle off a sequence of sleep-wake conditions.

Alcohol Has Great Impact on Sleep Patterns

People should understand that the more they drink or, the closer they drink to bedtime, the higher the possibility that it negatively impacts their sleeping mode at night.

It is also crucial to inculcate to one’s mind that even a moderate volume of alcohol in the body system could alter his sleep architecture – sleep’s natural flow through several stages.

Aside from that, it leads to more restless and lighter sleep, reduced quality of sleep, or extreme fatigue on the next day.

What Does an Alcohol Intake Do to a Person’s Sleep at Night?

It is indeed true that quick sleep might happen after a person consumes a moderate drink of alcohol. Alcohols often provide a reduction in sleep onset dormancy.

However, depending on the quantity of alcohol that a person takes, falling asleep would be something associated with collapsing out.

After a few days, a person’s body builds tolerance for alcohol’s sedative effects, which means that he needs to level up his drinking level to reach the stage of sleep-inducing impacts.

Those people who moderately drink alcohol, quickly falling asleep may be an advantage of a glass of red wine.

However, excessive alcohol intake could somehow affect the whole night of sleeping of an individual.


Too much drinking alcohol can worsen the circadian rhythm-disturbing impacts of alcohol.

However, even a moderate or regular routine of 2-3 drinks per day is sufficient to provide better sleep or performance sleep problems for some people.

 With this, it is recommendable to drink alcohol at least 2-3 times a week so that anyone can maintain a good lifestyle.

This recommendation by many experts is for everyone – men and women.

It then gives enough room and time to enjoy after-work socialization with friends or crack a bottle of beer during the weekend to relax from the tiring days of work.

Moderate drinking of alcohol at least 2-3 times a week would somehow give you a quick escape from exhausting days of work without disturbing circadian rhythms and healthy sleep.

This kind of routine is quite challenging for those who are always fond of drinking alcohol; however, this could greatly impact their sleep at night and their overall health status.

If you’re struggling with sleeping due to alcohol abuse, schedule a free consultation with our specialists at Abbeycare Scotland or Abbeycare Gloucester by calling our local number 01603 513 091.

About the author

Laura Morris

Laura Morris is an experienced clinical practitioner and CQC Registered Manager with over twenty years experience, over ten of which have been as an Independent Nurse Prescriber.

She has held a number of senior leadership roles in the substance use and mental health sector in the NHS, the prison service and in leading social enterprises in the field.

Last Updated: November 6, 2023