Author: Gary Jackson

Sleep Drunkenness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

When your blood alcohol level drops, your sleep is shallower, and the fact that you’re waking up more frequently means it may be easier for you to recall your dreams,” Dr. Greuner explains. So if you have a horrible nightmare, you might wake up feeling a little on edge, as you’ll remember more of those grueling details. I recommend to my patients drinking two to three times a week. People who experience sleep drunkenness are also more likely to have longer periods of deep sleep. Confusional arousals also most commonly occur in the first part of the night during your deep sleep cycle.

  • Researchers have noted a link between long-term alcohol abuse and chronic sleep problems.
  • For now, scientists do know that taking drugs can cause confusional arousal and other sleep disorders.
  • People with this sleep disorder often lack awareness and control over their behavior and movements, so the issue can potentially be dangerous.

Alcohol has sedative effects that can induce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, but the consumption of alcohol — especially in excess — has been linked to poor sleep quality and duration. People with alcohol use disorders commonly experience insomnia symptoms. Studies have shown that alcohol use can exacerbate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

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Alcohol is highly effective at suppressing melatonin, a key facilitator of sleep and regulator of sleep-wake cycles. Research indicates that a moderate dose of alcohol up to an hour before bedtime can reduce melatonin production by nearly 20 percent. Alcohol has a direct effect on circadian rhythms, diminishing the ability of the master biological clock to respond to the light cues that keep it in sync. Those effects of alcohol on the biological clock appear to persist even without additional drinking, according to research. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes brain activity to slow down.

  • People in the midst of an episode of confusional arousal are not fully aware and may not be able to think clearly.
  • While they might’ve tasted great going down, you might suffer the consequences after hitting the sheets.
  • This isn’t your average snore that many back-sleepers know well.
  • Anyone who’s ever indulged in a drink or two knows that alcohol can make you real sleepy, real fast.
  • Some studies suggest that alcohol contributes to sleep apnea because it causes the throat muscles to relax, which in turn creates more resistance during breathing.

But don’t take this condition lightly if it happens frequently. In rare cases, people have harmed themselves or others while sleep drunk. Some people have tried jumping out of a window, and others have shown violent or aggressive behavior. If you’ve ever been sleep drunk, your partner or family member may have gotten a laugh out of your unusual behavior.

Setting Yourself up for Successful Sleep

Poor or insufficient REM sleep has been linked to not only grogginess the next day, but also a higher risk of disease and early death. Alcohol has been linked to reduced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. “It’s best to stick with beverages with lower amounts of alcohol that take longer to drink. Some examples include some wines, ciders, and beers, as opposed to hard liquor, says Dr. Kansagra. And it’s best to drink liquors with mixers that are caffeine-free, rather than straight, he says. Yet while snoring isn’t serious, it is possible to lose your gag reflex when sleeping drunk, and this can be pretty scary, says Greuner.

  • If you’re planning on heading out for a night that will involve some drinks, there are some things you can do to help you sleep afterward.
  • If you’ve experienced such feelings, you may have had an episode of sleep drunkenness.
  • However, since the effects of alcohol are different from person to person, even small amounts of alcohol can reduce sleep quality for some people.