General Question

bookish1's avatar

Why can't I ever sleep in when I fall asleep drunk?

Asked by bookish1 (13147points) September 15th, 2012

Is it just me, or is there a physiological explanation for this? I’ve had this problem for years. I have no trouble falling asleep at 10 pm on a weeknight either dead sober or a bit tipsy, but if I get pretty drunk and try to fall asleep at 3 am or so… I am just incapable of sleeping more than 6 hours.

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Perhaps it’s your body telling you that alcohol is really a toxin. As you age, you are more vulnerable to problems since your kidneys and liver become slightly more inefficient every year you continue to breathe.

janbb's avatar

Alcohol allows you to fall asleep fast but not to stay asleep well, I’ve read.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I have read the same as @janbb, and that alcohol actually disrupts certain phases of your sleep cycle. The depressive effect helps you to nod off in the first place, but it screws with your quality of sleep after that.
I rarely sleep long/well after a night of drinking. I may fall asleep easily, but odds are I’ll be up early – feeling like crap. :) I can’t hang like I used to.

marinelife's avatar

“It also increases non-REM sleep and reduces REM sleep during the first portion of the night. However, alcohol is metabolized rapidly and blood concentrations are negligible by the middle of the night for most individuals who have a few drinks prior to bedtime, often resulting in withdrawal symptoms thereafter. These may include shallow sleep and multiple awakenings, REM rebound associated with nightmares or vivid dreams, sweating, and general activation.”


zenvelo's avatar

The processing of alcohol by your system reduces processing of glucose and glycogen. And alcohol is closely related to sugar chemically. When the alcohol finally processes, your body starts processing the glycogen and spikes your blood sugar levels. It is common for people who drink a lot to wake up after about 4 hours.

bookish1's avatar

Thank you to everyone for your answers. I guess there’s just no way out of this except drinking less.

gailcalled's avatar

Or drinking more and sleeping less.

dabbler's avatar

Seems to elevate my metabolism, probably while my body is metabolizing per @zenvelo‘s description. That elevated state keeps me from sleeping well.

Best remedy is do do a lot of dancing after drinking. And drink plenty of water too. Those will help you metabolize more quickly I think.

deni's avatar

My experience is if I go to sleep when I am really drunk, I will wake up VERY early the next morning. Yeah, usually about 6 hours later. And I’m most of the time still drunk, but regardless, I can’t go back to sleep! Then I’m forced to stay awake, and I can feel the hangover creep into my head, or stomach. It fuckin sucks. But I don’t know the explanation. Fear not for you are not alone.

bookish1's avatar

@dabbler : Hmm, yes, clearly the problem is that I did no dancing last night ;) Thanks, I’ll remember that for next time!

@deni : My experience precisely… Reminds me of this line from Bonfire of the Vanities: “It was the drinker’s hour, that hour in the dead of the night in which drinkers and insomniacs suddenly wake up and know it’s all over, this sleep dodge.”

Sunny2's avatar

You probably have to get up to pee.

tups's avatar

Same case for me, really. When I go to bed sober, I sometimes don’t wake up before noon. When I go to bed drunk, I wake up feeling awful early in the morning, it sucks. But I’m usually too awful to get up, so I just lie there for hours…

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DWW25921's avatar

Your body may know there’s something wrong and it’s keeping you awake as a safety mechanism. Your brain doesn’t like alcohol. I’ve seen this before in folks. I knew a fellow that couldn’t sleep at all until he sobered up. You’ll be fine. Everyone has a thing, I reckon that’s your thing bud.

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