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Sleepy!

Alcohol has been a big problem for me the last 5 years; wine is my go-to. I'm also a moderate smoker, about 3 packs a week. it's a miracle people tell me I look younger than I am despite these vices; I'll chalk that up to the antioxidants in the wine and the enormous amount of unsweetened iced tea I drink throughout day. I only drank water during the day yesterday and had a moderate (for me) amount of alcohol last night. I also didn't smoke anything after 7 last night. I was able to go 15 hours without another cigarette (can I call that a win?) I layed in bed for six hours staring at the ceiling and listening to my boyfriend and our two dobermans compete for who could snore loudest. I finally was able to sleep for two hours, where I had the weirdest dream involving me being chased by monsters (but they looked like people) and swinging through an elaborate trapeze system, only to stop intermittently to read books.... did I mention I was male in the dream? Ugh, I'm tired of drinking til I pass out. When will sleep become normal again?

    • Hang in there. It's hard to stop your " drug" of choice. Food, alcohol, cigarettes what ever it may be.

    • Inability to sleep is soooo common in giving up booze and nightmares common in giving up smoking hang in there seek help

    • Like you I used alcohol to self-medicate to sleep through severe stress for about 5 years. I quit back in 2015, and have since learned how to drink in a moderate, healthy manner. (Just so you know where I'm coming from)

      Anyway, here was my experience with the sleep issue:

      Weeks 0-3: Extreme difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep without my "crutch". I wasn't able to exercise much yet to help restore my body's equilibriums, so it was a rough go. What helped was my husband and I made a habit of having 2 cups of chamomile 3 hours before bed, then taking melatonin supplements 1 hour before bed. Also, definitely invest in some multivitamins and take magnesium supplements. You are likely highly deficient in magnesium and vitamins D and B.

      Week 4 - Month 3: My body finally adjusted to sleeping without alcohol. I slept incredibly soundly, even without melatonin. What helped me to re-establish a normal sleep cycle, without melatonin, was to avoid napping at all costs. I had to reset my body to fall asleep at a certain time and stay asleep until it was time to get up for work.

      Month 4 - Today (1 year, 3 months) - I started drinking again, but only in healthy moderation. I now stick to no more than 6 standard drinks per week, and never more than 3 standard drinks in one day. (To measure that in wine, 5oz=1 standard drink, so no more than 30oz a week and never more than 15oz in one day.) My sleep is still amazing on the nights I don't drink, and even on the nights I do because I'm no longer drinking to get drunk.

      I hope this gives you some perspective on the timetable. From what I've read, my experience with the sleep issue resolving itself is pretty similar to others who are moderators like me. If you go about 3 months sober and still struggle to sleep, definitely see a doctor. There might be other health issues at play.

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