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Alcohol and Nicotine Disrupt Sleep More than Caffeine

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Like any drug, the effects of alcohol can differ from person to person. But as you’ll learn, so can the effects of caffeine. 

Known for its baffling nature, maybe it’s no surprise that anything that comes after having a few alcoholic drinks can be a little unpredictable.

Alcohol is a depressant. That means when it is ingested, it slows down certain physical and mental aspects of your body and mind.

This might seem confusing, as many people feel the opposite of depressed when they drink. They might even drink specifically to combat depression. When many people drink, they feel peppy.  That is because it also affects your brain’s pleasure centers, making one feel less inhibited or more extroverted.

Still, many habitual drinkers feel the depressant effects of alcohol and struggle with falling asleep if they haven’t had a drink or two — or more. However, even if alcohol helps you fall asleep, it still reduces the overall quality of your sleep. Be cognizant of whether or not you are dependent on alcohol to fall asleep. 

If you want to stop drinking but are having trouble doing so, give this article a read. Maybe seeking out a residential treatment center in Atlanta to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms is the right move for you.

Alcohol is a depressant? So why doesn't it help me sleep?

The Jackson Heart Sleep Study, which measured the sleep efficiency among a large group of African American adults, was published this week. It concluded that intake of alcohol and nicotine within four hours prior to sleep resulted in increased fragmented sleep patterns.

Previous studies have shown that alcohol might make people fall asleep quicker, but it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) portion of your sleep cycle. It also slows down your breathing, possibly causing sleep apnea.

The fact that nicotine causes disruption to sleep might not come as much of surprise. After all, it is a stimulant. How much it disrupts your sleep is dependent on your level of dependence.

 Your body might wake itself up in the middle of sleep because of a craving. This can lead to insomnia.

Surprisingly, the study did not come to the same conclusion about another stimulant, caffeine. That is because caffeine delays, not disrupts, your sleep cycle. Drinking caffeine before bed will give you energy, making it take longer for you to fall asleep, but once you are asleep your cycle is not fragmented.

So I should develop a coffee addiction?


The study’s goal was to determine ways to improve sleep for those with sleep disorders. Clearly it recommends avoiding alcohol and nicotine in the hours before bed. 

While it concluded that caffeine does not disrupt sleep, it is important to know that delaying sleep can still be problematic. So don’t go pounding energy drinks or copious cups of coffee. Caffeine addiction is very common, and so is caffeine withdrawal. 

If you, like many others, need to wake up by a designated time in order to prepare for work, school, etc., staying up later and waking up at the same will cause you to lose sleep over time.

Residential Treatment Options for Detox Near Atlanta

If drugs or alcohol are making you have trouble sleeping and you are having trouble cutting them down or out altogether, you are not alone. Many people struggle to sleep without alcohol or prescription sleeping pills. 

No one’s story or circumstances are the same, so neither are anyone’s substance use treatment or journeys in recovery. At Atlanta Detox Center, you can take the first step is removing alcohol from your system, and starting a new life.

Detoxing from alcohol properly, and with medical assistance is the best way to set yourself up for long term sobriety. It is also important to know that alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens, that affect your central nervous system, can become life threatening if not dealt with properly. 

We are not only an accredited alcohol abuse detox in Georgia. We also offer residential mental health services as well as detox services for heroin, prescription drugs, opioids and crystal meth

Call an Atlanta Detox Center admissions specialist at 833-216-8642 to learn about alcohol detox treatment, and which other Amatus Recovery Centers facilities can serve you on your path to recovery.