SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information (
-   Newcomers to Recovery (
-   -   Any tips on getting sleep? (

Katzen 06-28-2018 02:19 AM

Any tips on getting sleep?
Itís after 2 am so I canít buy alcohol now, I somehow made it through another day sober. But the urge to drink is so strong lately every time I go to the store I feel so tempted to buy alcohol. How easy it would be to drown my sorrows and easily fall asleep instead of being wide awake at 2 am, I think thatís my biggest struggle, not being able to sleep. Iím awake for 2 days then finally get sleep when Iím so tired I canít think straight, I just donít know how to fall asleep without the help of alcohol. Would appreciate any tips on falling asleep.

D122y 06-28-2018 03:46 AM


I drank to get drunk since I was 5 years old.

As far as I have read here, that is a record.

My sleep has slowly gotten better and better since i quit getting drunk over 3 years ago.

I tried every natural remedy to sleep including recently..sleepy time tea. I work up after 2 hour and had to pee.

For me, it hasn't been about the length of time i sleep, it is about the quality.

I napped a lot during my first year clean. I still only sleep about 5 to 6 hours straight.

To get close to 8 hours of sleep, I have to be in bed for 10 to 12 hours. That can work on my days off, but not usual when I am working.

I average 4 to 6 hours a night these days.

I read somewhere that laying quietly, thinking about nothing, e.g. focus on breathing only, is 80% as restful as sleep.

Also, drunken sleep is not restful. Folks that drink are chronically fatigued.

Booze does nothing good for sleep.

I don't even take melatonin. It alters natural melatonin production.

It is hard not to worry sometimes.

Trust me, you will live, and if you stay totally clean e.g. no sleep meds, you will adapt to normal in time.

It is all about suffering.


yinzer 06-28-2018 04:12 AM

I actually listen to guided meditation when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep. It has helped a lot over the years. The “Love Tapes” series is something I listened to a lot the first time I quit drinking, but I’m sure there are a lot of choices.

Ladysadie 06-28-2018 05:38 AM

I'm a chronic insomniac, I've had to come to terms with it. My dr will not give me anything anymore to help with it. She recommended "unisom" an OTC sleep aid which I tried, along with z-quill tabs. Problem with those is I feel a fogginess the next day for half the day. I gave up on them as well.

Recently I downloaded on my iphone. Check it out, the sleep stories are pretty awesome to take your mind away from the anxiety. Guided imagery, some music. So many choices for helping calm the mind. Seemed kind of corny at first but I joined and now use it quite frequently. My favorite bedtime story is Blue Gold, just love the man's voice.

BreezyFe 06-28-2018 05:43 AM

I took melatonin (take again now since my yet another slip) for sleep. Every time I stopped drinking I could not sleep. Found melatonin helped me those first few days.

biminiblue 06-28-2018 05:50 AM

Melatonin gives me the weirdest nightmares.

Katzen, if you're in early sobriety I'd say do all you can and then accept that sleep is erratic in early days.

It was about a month before I slept consistently through the night for 7-9 hours. Prior to that I would sleep three hours and be up, then one day crash for 12 hours. It takes time.

Do all you (naturally) can to facilitate sleep though. You can Google "Sleep Hygiene" for tried and true tricks, but for me it comes down to the basics: good nutrition during the day and 30-60 minutes of some moderate activity. Low caffeine consumption. Low sugar consumption.

Sleep will come, my body makes me sleep when I need it.

thomas11 06-28-2018 06:07 AM

Staying sober is what helped me return to regular sleep. I feel for ya, I too had sleep issues and remember being awake for 36 hrs or more after a bender. its awful. When I quit, after about a week I found myself sleeping like I slept when I was kid. It is wonderful.

icewater1961 06-28-2018 07:03 AM

I had the worst anxiety and nothing made me sleep when I was drinking. Woke up at 2 am if I could knock myself out at all. Not drinking, different story. Melatonin and trazodone worked for me. Had some very disturbing nightmares though. Ask your doctor. Not being able to sleep is really bad for you but should not be a trigger to drink!

BobLobLaw 06-28-2018 07:09 AM

The best sleep I get is when I get some good exercise in that day. A nice 30 min jog really helps.

And, then read a good book in bed. A real paper and ink book - not surfing in internet on a phone or tablet.

Anna 06-28-2018 07:21 AM

I'm a chronic insomniac, too, since my teen years. I know that alcohol made things worse, but in recovery, I'm still an insomniac. :) Melatonin helps me get to sleep, but I routinely wake up after an hour. I watch boring TV or read. There are lots of great guided meditations to help you sleep, which you can google. Above all, I've found that the harder I try to get to sleep, the less chance there is of it happening. :)

Lizajane 06-28-2018 07:56 AM

I think a solid routine is helpful. Avoid napping, it can throw off the night time sleep. If you must nap, set and alarm to get you up in 20 minutes. Stay out of bed except for bedtime. Turn off electronics an hour before you want to sleep. Read instead of facebook/ gaming/ watching shows. Exercise daily but make sure it is more than an hour from bedtime. Stretch...deeply and slowly before climbing into bed. Make sure the room temperature is ideal for you. Scent your room with lavender. Go to bed and get up at a consistent time. Avoid caffeine of any kind in the PM. If you have worrisome thoughts that keep you alert, take 20 minutes to journal it and try again. If you get up in the night to use the restroom or get water, leave lights as low as possible. Sleep gets easier as your body heals and gets further from alcohol.

Katzen 06-28-2018 09:42 AM

Hi all and thanks for the great replies. I was awake all night browsing the internet and drinking apple juice, then around 6 am I vomited, and twice more after that I assume I caught a bug because the juice didn’t make me sick earlier. And it’s not withdrawals, I was mostly sober about a year (wine on special occasions) until I got very plastered in March, and vowed never ever again. After being up all night finally fell asleep around 8 am, slept less than an hour though because I had to run to the bathroom and vomit. Good thing about having this mystery bug is I was going to go grocery shopping today and have been feeling tempted to buy “just one” bottle of wine, so being sick I don’t want to risk going out so home I stay, sober. Now my dogs are wide awake running around the house being frisky and pouncing on me so won’t be able to get back to sleep for maybe another hour when they get tuckered out.

Many years ago a friend recommended I try melatonin, I took one and slept about 24 hours just getting up for bathroom breaks, not sure if I might have had a bug but haven’t tried it since. I need to try meditating but can’t seem to manage it, my mind ends up wandering and I start thinking about my life, husband and I are no longer on speaking terms have no idea if/when we’ll get divorced, start thinking about stuff I have no control over, certainly not in the middle of the night, but my mind won’t let me relax and sleep without alcohol.

48heath 06-28-2018 09:42 AM

Try Camomile tea with honey.

John65 06-28-2018 09:52 AM

Hi there, I find the herb valerian works very well, I've used it a lot over the years in the form of tablet, tincture and herb tea . Smaller doses are also good for anxiety. For sleep valerian is often combined with hops and passion flower. It doesn't work for everyone though but it's worth giving it a go!

Bonnefond87 06-28-2018 09:55 AM

Going to bed and getting up at the same times is a key factor. Your internal clock is out of sync. Eating well and exercising will help. It will get better.

MindfulMan 06-30-2018 12:48 AM

Melatonin and trazodone worked for me. In early sobriety I'd take sleeping on and off all day over the alternative. I did medical detox from alcohol and Lunesta cross addiction using a benzo taper, which worked wonders.

Very glad to be done with all of it. When in active addiction I took 3 mg of lunesta without fail every night, the max dosage. And doxylamine succinate (Unisom). And 10 mg of melatonin. And 200mg of trazodone. All this after drinking at least 3 glasses of wine on a slow day.

I still have a hard time sleeping on nothing. I'm at 1-2 mg of melatonin and 25 mg. of trazodone most nights, but my sleep is HUGELY restful. Now the unisom makes me feel really anxious and groggy when I wake up, as does any more of anything. The worst for me was valerian root. But different things work for different people.

I come by it honestly, I come from a long line of insomniacs. I agree with everyone suggesting natural methods, but some "help" is not out of the question in withdrawal, particularly if you have a doc that can advise you honestly.

andyh 06-30-2018 01:14 AM


Originally Posted by Katzen (Post 6939793)
I need to try meditating but canít seem to manage it, my mind ends up wandering and I start thinking about my life, husband and I are no longer on speaking terms have no idea if/when weíll get divorced, start thinking about stuff I have no control over, certainly not in the middle of the night, but my mind wonít let me relax and sleep without alcohol.

meditation, contrary to popular belief, really isn't about emptying your mind. everyone's mind wanders & it's more about being aware of when it wanders & bringing yourself back to your breath, or whatever it is that you're focusing on.

there's a good, free online Mindfulness course that I like here:

it's not a quick fix, but it is a good investment of time. & if you're having trouble sleeping I'm guessing you might have some time to practice ;)

Porcetta 06-30-2018 01:53 AM

I slept and sleep like a bag of s**t.
Probably get 5-6 hours a few nights a week & 2-3 the rest..... I've accepted it and the biggest help to me was to just go with it.

Other things to try:
Walk in the evening
Melatonin or unisom which can help your body clock reset itself and arent benzos

Dee74 06-30-2018 02:25 AM

Naturally any supplements mentioned here as part of someone else's experience really need to be run past your Dr. or pharmacist.

What might have worked for someone else may not work or even be suitable for you, the reader.

Sometimes common sense things are the best to try first I think.



Dee74 06-30-2018 03:56 AM

Just a reminder

9. If it shouldn't be viewed by minors, then it shouldn’t be posted to the forums or chat rooms. This is a public, family-friendly forum. In addition, if something would not be considered “work safe” (to a boss or co-worker), then it shouldn’t be posted.

no more sex/masturbation recommendations please.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:33 PM.