quitting and insomnia

Old 05-10-2015, 05:52 PM
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quitting and insomnia


I've been drinking heavily for a little over a year. I'm interested in quitting. I know that this may sound like "heresy", but I do not feel like I am emotionally or mentally addicted to alcohol. My interest in quitting is related to the medical effects of alcohol. I'm a pretty young guy, but I know a guy only a few years older than me who is a heavy drinker and this guy had a stroke. That scared the ever loving hell out of me.

I do not believe I am mentally addicted because I have quit several times. Each time, I felt no craving or "urge" to drink. What's gotten to me are the physical symptoms of alcohol cessation. The first couple days are terrible...I get a pounding heart and lightheadedness. I can "tough it out" and get through this.

The thing that always gets to me, however, is my almost complete inability to sleep. When I'm not using alcohol, I almost always have these cycles where I don't sleep for 2-3 days in a row. The effects of the sleep deprivation feel far, far worse than the hangovers or even the acute withdrawal symptoms.

Despite being unable to sleep at night, I am absolutely exhausted during the day. After the 2nd day of no sleep, I start feeling lightheaded and can tell my cognitive abilities are impaired. By the third day, I start to get this weird feeling like I am dissociated from reality.

I know what an addiction feels like because I'm hopelessly addicted to nicotine and was once hooked on opiates once following an operation. I know what that deep, visceral craving for something feels like. I don't get that way with alcohol. I just want to sleep and it's the only thing that seems to allow me to get some rest. I've tried pretty much every more healthy way to get sleep (not using my bed for anything but sleep, going to bed at the same time every day, OTC sleeping pills, herbal teas, melatonin, blue light filters, meditation, white noise generators, warm milk, hot baths, listening to boring lectures, etc...).

None of these things help. The acute withdrawal symptoms go away after a few days. The insomnia never feels like it's getting better no longer how long I abstain. I am pretty well-educated and have read some medical literature about how alcohol use can cause insomnia. I don't want alcohol to harm my liver or heart, but I don't want to go crazy from sleep deprivation. Has anyone who has gone through this process found any way to remedy the insomnia?
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:56 PM
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How long have you actualIy abstained? It took me at least a couple of weeks to get any kind of decent sleep after quitting.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:02 PM
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It took me about a month for my sleep patterns to get back to normal, but now I sleep better than I have in years.

Give yourself a few weeks and if it's not better then, see a doctor about it.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:04 PM
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I've gone a month and a half abstaining. It never seems to even begin to get better.

I forgot to mention: in these 2-3 day sleepless cycles, I do sleep on the 3rd or 4th day, but it is in no way a healthy way of getting to sleep. It is almost like narcolepsy. I've fallen asleep in dangerous situations (e.g. in the bathtub, with the oven on, etc...)
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:13 PM
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Id recommend seeing a doctor about it if you haven't already.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:25 PM
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I think any long term insomnia problem probably needs a Dr, pseudonym582.

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Old 05-10-2015, 06:31 PM
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Go see your Doc, pseudo. That sounds wretched. Don't drink.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:11 AM
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Welcome to the Forum Pseudonym!!
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:34 PM
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Welcome nice to meet you
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