A double-blind trial comparing gabapentin against lorazepam for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal over a 4-day period provided data on daytime sleepiness (Myrick et al., 2009). A total of 100 individuals were randomized to receive gabapentin (900 mg tapering to 600 mg or 1200 mg tapering to 800 mg) or lorazepam (6 mg tapering to 4 mg). Gabapentin was administered in three divided doses through the day, as was the lorazepam.
We also manually searched through all recent addiction psychiatry/medicine and sleep journals and also all relevant references which were identified from other studies which met inclusion criteria. Such problems can persist for some time even after you decide to quit drinking. In fact, difficulty sleeping is one of the most common alcohol withdrawal symptoms and one that causes many to relapse. Many people with insomnia may have difficulty falling asleep at night.
How to prevent disrupting sleep after drinking
See how your sleep habits and environment measure up and gauge how adjusting behavior can improve sleep quality. His research and clinical practice focuses on the entire myriad of sleep disorders. If you continue to struggle with insomnia, your therapist may discuss putting you on medications.
A polysomnogram was performed on Days 1, 2 (prior to receiving trazodone), Day 3 (first dose of trazodone, 50 mg) and on Day 28. Trazodone is a sedating antidepressant which acts predominantly on the serotonergic system. It is one of the most commonly prescribed sleep aids in patients with alcohol dependence (Friedmann et al., 2003). It alcoholic insomnia is not habit forming and has no abuse potential which might explain why it is frequently prescribed in patients with alcohol addiction. Our search revealed two studies of trazodone used to treat sleep problems following cessation of alcohol use. Researchers have noted a link between long-term alcohol abuse and chronic sleep problems.
Possible links between alcohol and insomnia
Clinical global impression (CGI), a clinician rating of the severity of the patient’s illness and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) scores were significantly improved in the trazodone group (Guy, 1976). Sleep apnea is a common disorder where the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. There are many medications used to treat insomnia, including benzodiazepine and nonbenzodiazepine medications.
The studies with gabapentin in this patient population have had contrasting results. An open-label trial found that gabapentin and trazodone improved sleep when compared with placebo on subjective measures. Some studies have found that gabapentin could enhance abstinence from alcohol but these have not included sleep measures (Furieri and Nakamura-Palacios, 2007). This property of gabapentin could be an effect common to other antiepileptic drugs.
Get help for alcoholism today.
Many people who are recovering from alcohol use disorders had sleep problems that predated their alcohol dependence. If you drink to excess, even occasionally, you have probably experienced sleep problems. Drinking alcohol can affect the quality and length of your sleep, leading to sleep disorders — such as insomnia and sleep apnea — in some.
Because of the damage that alcohol can do to your sleep cycles, sleep problems are common, even if you stop drinking. However, you may continue to have trouble sleeping for years after you stop drinking. They may believe it reduces their anxiety over the day’s events and helps them get to sleep. If this pattern repeats daily, a person is more likely to become dependent upon alcohol to fall asleep. To help assess how alcohol may be affecting your sleep, experts recommend an alcohol-free reset period, or what Dr. Martin called “an alcohol holiday,” lasting at least two weeks. “It can be very eye-opening to appreciate how much alcohol affects your sleep,” she said.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the adult general population . It occurs also highly comorbid with hazardous alcohol use and alcohol use disorders [2,3,4] with comorbid prevalence ranging between 7–52% in population-based https://ecosoberhouse.com/ samples [5, 6]. There are some well-known gender differences in the prevalence for both insomnia and hazardous alcohol use; women have more often insomnia [7, 8] while men use alcohol more hazardously [9, 10].
- His research suggests that soon after you consume alcohol, that glass of wine or tumbler of bourbon helps speed your descent into slumber.
- These people can benefit from continuing with sleep medication or seeking cognitive-behavioral therapies for insomnia, which have been shown to be effective at improving sleep quality in recovery.
- Working on your sleep hygiene is another way to help prevent or reduce insomnia.
- However, some people may continue to experience insomnia related to their alcohol use disorder for weeks or months.