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Alcohol support

Drinking to sleep

7 replies

Notlaughingalot · 15/09/2023 11:52

I can't stop this on my own. I have contacted a local alcohol support hub and I have got a telephone appointment later this month.
Has anyone used this kind of support, and if so, did it help?
I drink almost a bottle of wine a night and nothing else helps me get to sleep. I have tried Kalms, Nytol etc and they don't work for me.

OP posts:
flipent · 15/09/2023 11:59

If you rely on it to sleep, it will take some time before you can sleep well without it - but your sleep will significantly improve.
It is good that you're getting support.

2023forme · 15/09/2023 18:10

@Notlaughingalot - I too started using wine to get to sleep and 4 years later I have a huge binge drinking problem.

Im currently just coming up to 40 days sober and I’ve had about maybe 8 periods of being AF for 2/3 months in the 4 years. I can 1 million percent tell you that the drinking will be making your sleep worse. the alcohol completely messes with your brain chemistry and sleep.

I was insomniac for years and years and after trying everything, I gradually used more and more alcohol to get to sleep. When I have periods of sobriety, I sleep so much better after the first few weeks. I’m currently getting 6 or 7 hours a night - I’m always up to the loo but I can get back to sleep. It’s wonderful.

what I am going to say next is very controversial but it’s something I have done in the past when I’ve been desperate to sleep but also to stay sober - I’ve taken original Benilynn cough mixture. I took it two nights a week and it was a relief to me to know that I’d get those two nights of sleep. Mentally that really helped with the stress and anxiety of worrying about not sleeping. I could go literally weeks on about 1 or 2 hours sleep a night.

it is potentially addictive but I never felt the pull towards abusing it. There will no doubt be posters who will be horrified by this suggestion but to me, it was a lesser evil than alcohol and I was utterly desperate for sleep. I even got zipiclone from my gp and the bigger dose didn’t even make me sleep!

good luck 💐

Member786488 · 16/09/2023 15:09

thanks for that information.

whenever I stop drinking my sleep deteriorates - not being dehydrated means I’m up twice for the loo, I struggle to drop off, and I wake at 3.30 without fail…

alchohol (2/3 bottle wine) improves the situation in that I drop off easily, don’t need to wee and never get a hangover.
but I’ve put on loads of weight and don’t want cancer so…

im going to do sober October and take it from there, but useful info re Benelyn.

Summer2424 · 16/09/2023 15:37

Hi @Notlaughingalot
I know this is going to sound totally ridiculous but honestly please just try this and i really think it will help. Tonight don't drink the wine and have a cup of hot milk before bed, there is research done that it helps with sleep and i'm hoping it will help you sleep x

Notlaughingalot · 16/09/2023 19:26

People seem to have their own ways of beating the insomnia. Thank you for all your replies.

OP posts:
mindutopia · 18/09/2023 11:03

I would recommend two things: speak to your GP about help for your insomnia and also give quitting drinking a try, but do your best to plan life with the expectation that you won't sleep well for a bit. This may mean you need to change up your schedule. You may need to take some sick days from work. etc.

Ultimately, drinking does not improve your sleep. It may help you drift off and stay in an unconscious state during the night, but it reeks havoc on your brain waves during sleep, so that you don't truly get good, restorative brain-healthy quality sleep. You're just 'passed out' rather than properly sleeping the way your body needs to.

But because your body has been so used to this kind of 'sleep' for so long, it's your body's normal state. So when you take it away, your body goes mad because it doesn't know how to sleep. You need to re-learn how to sleep without the booze and that will take time. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised if it took at least 2-3 months, if not longer, depending on other sleep issues you might have.

I found that Nytol - the behind the counter one, not the herbal one you can buy off the shelf - helped tremendously. But others have needed prescribed sleep medicines. If you already have a referral for alcohol support, speak to your GP about what prescription options you have to help with sleep. But please don't let this be what keeps you from getting sober. Your sleep really will improve without drinking, but you have to push through that transition to normal sleep and it will get worse before it gets better. But do reach out and get support you need to push through it.

annabelnw9 · 07/10/2023 22:31

Agree with mindutopia. In my experience alcohol has a ‘passing out’ effect followed by a ‘coming to’ effect, compared to the ‘going to sleep’ and ‘waking up’ that happens naturally if there is no alcohol in your system. Alcohol It plays havoc with your natural sleep rhythm including REM. I remember a line in the Unexpected Joy of Being Sober. She said stopping drinking and staying sober is the most and the only important goal, everything else can be dealt with afterwards.

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