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Hooch and insomnia
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest
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Jun 23, 2013, 02:57 PM
I've noticed that as I've gotten older, not only can I drink way less than when I was younger, but even if I only have a couple beers (~6-7% ABV) in the evening, I inevitably wake up at about 3:00 AM the following morning with unbelievable insomnia. I've read online that the body's metabolization of alcohol can interrupt normal REM sleep patterns, and the lack of restful sleep can cause the insomnia.

Whatever the reason, I'm just curious if anyone else experiences this. I don't drink often at all and I rarely get full-on drunk. It seems to be related to age more than anything else (alcohol tolerance, weight, gender, etc.), too. It's only been happening to me in the past two or three years - I'll be 29 next month.

Anyone else have this happen?
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Jun 23, 2013, 03:08 PM
If you don't drink often you'll definitely notice your tolerance plummet. It can happen pretty quickly too.

I've never had alcohol related insomnia. If anything it makes me sleep sooner/longer/better but its been a while since I drank enough to accomplish that tbh.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Jun 23, 2013, 03:27 PM
I have always had issues with sleep after drinking alcohol. As I've advanced, I have noticed the same basic thing: I'll sleep until some point and then be "awake," without much chance of falling back asleep any time soon. It is worse when I drink more, which may be obvious, but it says something about what's going on, because I also wake up VERY thirsty after I drink.

Metabolizing alcohol requires added water, because between the intestine and liver, they use a lot of water to flush intermediate and end products out of the body. So I've taken to drinking extra water with the booze, and a bit extra at night before going to bed. I still wake up at about the same time, but I'm not as thirsty, and I can go back to sleep more easily - after visiting the bathroom.

Give that a try. I'm a tall guy, and I'll drink an extra half-liter or more of water through an evening when having a beer or two, or a couple glasses of wine, and that's about enough for me to be much less uncomfortable later.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
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