Sleeping well is an important activity in life. Humans and animals all sleep according to their physical and mental requirements. However, some humans interrupt their sleeping abilities with alcohol use.
Many alcoholics think that alcohol is helping them sleep properly, which is not true.
Causes of Alcoholism
Main cause of alcoholism is still unknown. However, there are triggers that can cause a person to depend on alcohol. It may seem harmless to be drinking a glass or two of wine, whiskey, or beer every night. But if this becomes frequent and the amount increases, that is where the trouble starts.
Problems usually cause people to turn to substances that will help them ease of the pain or trouble it brings, or so they thought. But this is mostly the easiest part in dealing with difficult situations. Meanwhile, problems don’t subside even if you get drunk. It can make you forget about it as of the moment but once the alcohol lose its effect, reality starts to creep back in.
The moment you opt to escape your current situation that is not favorable for you, alcohol becomes your companion and best friend. Alcohol may seem to bring you to a happier place you may escape the pain for a moment, but alcohol will never help resolve the problem.
Alcohol ruins your sleep and life rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is a combination of chemical rhythm you require during the day. You can call it your internal clock that controls your systematic functionality on a 24-hour basis. This rhythm requires proper sleep to prepare the brain for the synchronized functionality for the next day. However, alcohol doesn’t let it happen.
Alcohol interrupts the optimum chemical production in your body, which wakes you up at night. Alcohol does induce sleep with the increased production of a chemical called adenosine in your body. But that impact works for a small time. Hence, you feel sleepy at first, but then, wake up without giving any rest to your body and mind.
No deep sleep for alcoholics
There are two major stages of sleep. One is the REM or Rapid Eye Movement and the other one is deep sleep. The first one is a condition in which you sleep without actually resting. Hence, the next day becomes unbearable for your body and mind. Even simple tasks such as deciding “left or right” become a challenging mission without getting deep sleep stage. Alcohol doesn’t allow your mind to reach the deep level of sleep. Hence, you stay in bed for no good reason.
Behavioral changes and memory lapse
No sleep also means lower capacity of your brain. Your brain manages your emotional state, concentration, memories and decision-making capacity on a daily basis. Low sleep or bad sleep due to alcohol results in the functional interruptions on how your mind works. Hence, you start feeling depressed, anxious or forgetting simple things, and unproductive. Remembering simple things become difficult for your brain. Both short-term and long-term memories get impacted due to bad sleep.
Eventually, alcoholics develop characteristics of dementia disease and start forgetting things quickly. Mood swings are another lifestyle impact you can experience due to alcohol use and low sleep quality. All these things impact your ability to stay productive in whatever you do in your life.
How to tackle alcohol addiction?
When people regularly harm their sleep quality with alcohol, their life choices become poor. Alcohol and sleep deprivation completely change your personality, including your physical appearance and mental capacities. Your emotions go out of your control and you go into isolation. Gradually, it can all lead to irreversible mental and physical diseases.
Hence, tackling the addiction the soonest possible time should be your goal. There are several renowned alcohol treatment centers in Florida. Such treatment centers provide start to end professional support to help alcohol addicts come out of their addiction.
Are you an alcoholic?
Addiction to alcohol, also known as alcoholism, is a problem that affects people of all walks of life. A lot of experts tried to point several factors like sex, genetics, socioeconomics or race that may push someone to being alcoholic. But they haven’t proven a single cause. Genetic, behavioral and psychological factors can contribute and may be the cause of having this disease.
Yes, alcoholism is a disease. It can result changes to neurochemistry and brain, so a man with addiction to alcohol may do something out of his will.
Addiction to alcohol can show in a lot of different ways. The gravity of the disease, how often or seldom someone drinks, and the amount of alcohol they take varies from one to another. Some takes a whole day and drink heavily, others just binge drink and keep on being sober for a moment.
Even if how this addiction looks, someone is usually an alcoholic if they can’t think of anything to do but to rely heavily on drinking and they cannot stay sober for a long time.
There are symptoms of addiction to alcohol:
- drinking frequency
- increase of alcohol quantity
- no more hangover moments – increase in tolerance
- drinking anywhere, anytime – drinking early in the morning, in places like at work or in a church
- going to places where the alcohol is
- choosing friends who are alcoholic too
- avoiding communicating with family and friends
- hiding the alcohol
- depending on alcohol in everyday life
- increased depression, lethargy and other issues emotionally
- professional or legal problems – losing a job or being arrested
The tendency of this addiction to get worse over time, it is crucial to be wary of the early signs. If treated and identified early, a person with a drinking problem may be able to sway away with the consequences of this illness.
If you know someone who has a drinking problem and you’re worried, it is best to talk to them in a supportive manner. Make sure to not shame them or make them feel guilty. Doing so could lead them away and might make them resist your help.
Even if your drinking problem is mild, it can also impact your mental and physical health seriously. Being alcoholic can also cause other problems that you are trying to avoid by heavily drinking and that creates a cycle negatively that you might be unaware.
- Loss of memory
- Loss of focus
- High blood pressure
- Heart and Stomach problems
- Cancer of different kinds
- Damage of the brain
- Permanent loss of memory
- Pancreatic problem
- Scars in your liver
Since drinking alcohol may make you feel more brave or stupid, you are likely to take risks – dangerous ones. That raises the chances of you being injured or dying from:
- Self-inflicting wounds
- Vehicle accidents
Being alcoholic doesn’t just affect your own body and life, it also affects the people you care about. Too much drinking may result to violence, neglect, abuse and having anger problems that can damage relationships with your friends and family.
How alcohol contributes to the quantity and quality of sleep?
- Sleep Rhythms Battle. Alcohol intake before sleeping is connected with a sleep pattern called delta activity. It allows you to sleep deeply for learning and memory formation. Alpha activity on the other hand is also activated. It usually occurs while you are quietly resting and not during your sleep. So, drinking before bed may hinder restorative sleep.
- REM sleep blocked. People who drink before sleeping can get a low-quality of sleep because alcohol blocks REM sleep – which is the most restorative sleep type. Waking up feeling unfocused and groggy is what you’ll experience with less REM sleep.
- Worsen breathing problems. Since alcohol can make your entire body feeling relaxed, you’re more prone to sleep apnea and snoring as the muscles on your throat relax too.
- Extra visits to the loo. Naturally, during night time, our body knows that it’s time for sleeping, not bathroom trips. It means that our internal organs, especially our bladder, are into hibernation for the entire night. But, a diuretic alcohol can make you feel the need to have extra trips to the loo, which will definitely interrupt your sleep pattern.
Excessive drinking of alcohol on a regular basis has numerous negative consequences in our health. Alcoholic drinks seem to have a lot of toxic effects – from cancer to more “chaotic” inconveniences like the early signs of aging that soon will take a toll in our lives.
Alcohol drinking may not be bad to your health, at some point. Social or occasional drinking may be a good activity in life. But when the drinking becomes too frequent and too heavy, that is when drinking becomes a bad habit.
Addiction, with any substance, gradually develops. When this occur, it slowly destroys your function as a person. Your addiction is impacting your sleep, which is directly costing you the career you built, your relationships and your health. Don’t let it happen. Seek for a professional help to immediately address your habit of drinking before it even becomes an addiction.
About the author
Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at Perfume Hut and co-founder of Usman Digital Media. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.