Insomnia is a terrible condition that robs a person of sleep. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, usually in reoccurring episodes. Many people often relate insomnia and alcohol, but in the wrong way. They think alcohol is a good treatment for insomnia, when the truth is that it is more of a problem than a solution.
Why Alcohol Effects Sleep
Drinking alcohol affects a person’s body in many ways. It can make a person feel tired, but usually at a time that is outside their normal sleep cycle and, after its effects have worn off, it can actual work to stimulate the body. This effect can play tricks on the body and throw the normal sleep cycle out of whack.
In studies, alcohol has been proven to induce sleep at first but then interrupt the second, most restful, REM sleep cycle. In a person who consumes alcohol regularly, the withdrawal effects they experience during sleep cause disruption of their sleep cycle. So, insomnia and alcohol combined can lead to prolonged problems getting a good night’s sleep.
Further Problems Created By Alcohol For Insomnia Sufferers
Another major issue with insomnia and alcohol treatment methods is that the person has limited their other treatment options. Behavioral treatments, where a person is taught to relax and induce a sleep-like state, are only moderately effective and have not yet been proven to be a good solution for insomnia. Medications are often quite limited due to the interaction between the alcohol and the medication. These limited treatment options mean that a person could be stuck suffering with insomnia, which in turn could turn into a problem with alcohol.
A Possible Solution
For a person to stop using alcohol to cure their insomnia they need a good treatment option. The best solution found so far is the natural hormone, melatonin. Melatonin is produced by the body naturally, found in some foods and can be made as a supplement. It helps to trigger the body’s natural tendency to fall asleep. It has been suggested that people who consume alcohol have lower levels of natural melatonin in their body, which would explain a direct link between insomnia and alcohol.
Insomnia and alcohol are often misunderstood as to how one affects the other. Using alcohol to treat insomnia is not a good treatment option. Over time, the alcohol will make the insomnia worse. As an alternative, a person should try one of the many insomnia treatments available.