Sleep disorders are conditions that affect your normal sleeping patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep as well as a reduced amount of sleep overall. These disorders can result from medical issues, health problems, environmental issues, and alcohol withdrawal.
It’s essential to get adequate high-quality sleep to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Sufficient sleep has many benefits to the body, including improved concentration, improved immune function, and reduced heart disease and stroke risk.
Effects of Alcohol on Sleep
Hormones produced by the body, like the growth hormone adenosine, help to induce sleep. These hormones are capable of mediating alcohol dependence sleep disorder. Adenosine works by modulating other neurotransmitters to produce new nerve signals. Adenosine also has self-promoting inhibitory effects on the acetylcholine system.
Acute consumption of alcohol increases adenosine activity. This activity then inhibits the effects on the acetylcholine system. Increased adenosine activity that results from alcohol use decreases REM sleep.
Consumption of alcohol also alters the functioning of neurotransmitters, which leads to an alcoholic sleep disorder.
Are Sleep Disorders Common Among Alcoholics?
Alcohol is a sedative, which means it helps induce sleep. However, this type of sleep is fragmented, and you’re most likely to awaken in the middle of the night when its calming effects wear off.
As you continue to consume alcohol every day before bedtime, its sleep-inducing effects decrease, and alcohol’s disruptive effects replace them, which brings about alcoholism sleeping disorders. Alcoholism insomnia is usually felt more by the elderly than younger adults because older people experience higher alcohol levels in the blood and brain after consuming the same amount of alcohol as young people.
Research published by the National Institute of Health shows that sleep disorders are more common among alcoholics than non-alcoholics. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 18% of alcoholics are likely to be affected by insomnia compared to 10% who are non-alcoholics.
Impact of Sleep Disorders
Sleep problems have been associated with several things, including substance misuse, medication, alcohol, and alcoholism. These disorders can present health implications such as increased risks of depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.
Some sleeping disorders are linked to alcohol misuse. Sleep disorders that result from alcohol misuse include alcohol-induced narcolepsy, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal sleep paralysis.
On the Reverse: Can Sleep Disorders Make People More Susceptible to Alcoholism?
A study done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which Ford and Kamerow conducted, found a 2.4 times higher likelihood that adults who experienced ongoing insomnia were likely to engage in alcohol use than those without insomnia. The study found that people with insomnia were using alcohol as a form of self-medication to promote sleep.
Alcohol, being a sedative, temporarily helps improve sleep patterns. However, the body may develop tolerance to alcohol, rendering it less helpful in inducing sleep. Before a person knows it, they develop alcohol dependence.
Here are some effective treatment options for alcohol sleep disorders:
- Sleep hygiene: Adhering to sleep hygiene by keeping the right sleep environment, following a bedtime routine and avoiding daytime naps can help you deal with sleeping disorders.
- Complementary therapy: Various complementary therapies, including yoga, mindfulness meditation, muscle relaxation, and aromatherapy, have been known to remedy sleep disorders.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy for insomnia: This therapy involves meeting a therapist to assess you and help you break unwanted sleeping practices.
Contact Us Today
Insomnia and alcohol withdrawal can have far-reaching effects on your health. At Gateway Foundation, we can help you deal with disturbed sleep that results from alcohol drug misuse.
Contact us at 877.379.6911 and talk to us about your condition. Our team of experienced and caring staff is ready to help you transform your life so you can enjoy quality sleep without alcohol dependence.