A common complaint of people who are trying to quit drinking, or looking for reasons to keep drinking and are hesitant to try, is that they can’t sleep without alcohol.
Sleep is so incredibly important for so many different areas of life. Getting a bad sleep can impact your whole day, and for people who have issues with anxiety, it can be hard enough to fall asleep, which is why many people turn to alcohol or other substances in the first place.
So, with all of that in mind, it’s easy to rationalize “just a quick drink before bed” to help you fall asleep, since sleep itself is a healthy and crucial thing, and trying to sleep without drinking can be difficult when your mind and your body have gotten so used to it.
But that’s not a reason to keep drinking, that’s actually a reason to stop…
The short and long term effects of alcohol, both physically, mentally, and the effect they can have on your life overall, make it worthwhile to think about quitting if alcohol is causing you any problems in your life, or even if you’re only just starting to feel your drinking getting out of hand.
Making the decision to stop drinking is deeply personal choice. No matter how many times people around you suggest it, you kind of need to know it’s time, and if you find yourself in a position where you cna’t sleep without alcohol: it’s probably time to serious consider what your life might look like without alcohol.
In order to do that, we want to present you with some really helpful tips to help you sleep without drinking. Sleep is a habit, and forming new sleep habits takes time.
Even if you don’t quit drinking today or tomorrow, you can still start doing the following habits to get used to them, and so that when you do quit drinking, you’ll have some experience and practice under your belt.
How to Fall Asleep Without Alcohol
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to fall asleep without drinking. None of these, on their own, will necessarily be enough – so what you should do is pick 2 or 3, and start with those, and add in more as-needed until you feel like you’ll be able to fall asleep, and get a good night’s sleep, without drinking alcohol to fall asleep.
This is a small capsule that’s affordable, and available over the counter. Taking a melatonin 30-60 minutes before bedtime can make it easier to fall asleep. There are time-released versions that also have magnesium to help you have a restful sleep.
This is useful for helping to adjust your sleep schedule and ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep. You can take it for days in a row, just take it before bed, lay down, and you should have an easier time drifting off.
2. Avoiding Screens Before Bed
If you can avoid going on your cellphone or computer or watching TV for 30 minutes or an hour before bed, or ideally even a bit longer, this can help your body adjust to “sleep mode” more quickly, and also gives you some time to unwind before bed which can help if you’re an anxious person. If you don’t know what else to do during this time, like if you’re someone who needs to be distracted until the second you fall asleep with the TV on, this will be a big adjustment but it can help a great deal.
3. Meditation or Yoga
If you’ve never meditated before, don’t worry, it’s not some silly “woo woo” nonsense, it’s a legitimate practice that can help calm your mind and relax your body. You can do more difficult poses and it’s a great workout that can help tire you out, or you can keep it very simple and just do some short guided meditations that can help lull you into a sleep.
Stretching your body and focusing on your breathing will help to relax you, which can help you calm down and have an easier time falling asleep.
4. Bedtime Ritual
If drinking was part of your previous bedtime ritual, it’s time to come up with a new one. It can involve whatever you want, try different things and see what helps you sleep. It might be a warm cup of tea before bed, it might be taking some time to read a book, it might be scrolling on your phone – if it works, and if it helps – then it’s good! Screens aren’t the best idea before bed, but being on your phone before you fall asleep is a lot better for you than drinking.
The key is consistency. After you’ve done something for about two weeks, your brain will be starting to form a new habit. You won’t have to push yourself as hard to complete all of your various techniques to help you sleep without drinking, they’ll just feel like a normal part of your day soon enough.
Can You Learn to Fall Asleep Without Alcohol?
Yes, you absolutely can!
It will take some practice, and it might be challenging, but you can do it.
Sometimes, when people quit drinking, they’ll feel depressed or just sad and down, so you can learn more about depression after quitting drinking. If you’re feeling bad, reach out to someone you can trust or a local resource, because there are addictions counselors who see this type of thing everyday who can help you work through things.
Before you know it, you’ll be sleeping like a log without needing a drop of alcohol! You’ll learn that the days where you can’t sleep without alcohol are just a thing of the past.
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