Even if you didn’t feel that your drinking interfered with your sleep, it’s very likely that your alcoholism has harmed your sleep patterns and overall sleep health. After finishing an alcohol detox program, some people find that they’re having trouble with sleep and exhaustion after quitting alcohol. So, what’s causing this post alcohol fatigue, and what can be done about it?
If you’re struggling with exhaustion after quitting alcohol, you’re likely dealing with sleep issues that are the culprit of your exhaustion. Sleep problems after quitting alcohol are more common than you may think, and there are several factors that can cause them. This post alcohol fatigue can be caused by1:
Each factor has a different influence on sleep and thus on exhaustion after quitting alcohol. Chronic drinking can cause disruptions to your body’s natural wake and sleep cycles (its circadian rhythm) which can result in sleep problems after quitting alcohol. Additionally, alcohol dehydrates your body, which can cause recovery fatigue.
There are many illnesses related to alcoholism, with liver damage as one of the most common effects of chronic alcohol consumption. Patients who are struggling with liver cirrhosis, which is liver damage typically caused by chronic alcohol consumption, are more likely to experience sleep problems.2 Liver damage is associated with difficulties in sleep-wake cycles, but it’s not all bad news. Generally, sleep problems related to liver damage can resolve within three months after a person quits drinking.1
So, how can these factors associated with early sobriety from alcoholism be treated? Generally, many of these problems resolve themselves within a few months of sobriety. But additional steps can be taken to help mitigate sleep problems after quitting alcohol. Newly sober people can get more restful sleep and avoid severe post alcohol fatigue by: