Seeking Insomnia Relief with Alcohol: A Disaster in the Making
With 30% to 40% of adults in the United States claiming to suffer from symptoms of insomnia within the last twelve months, it’s safe to say that the condition is a problem for many Americans. Some try natural insomnia remedies to help combat their symptoms, such as relaxation techniques, sleep restriction, or diet changes. But more often than not, people are turning to alcohol to deal with their restless nights. There are various reasons why drinking alcoholic beverages is not a healthy way to deal with insomnia.
Sleep Disruption Due to Alcohol Consumption
According to the Alcohol Rehab Guide, over 20% of people use alcohol to help themselves fall asleep. To them, upping their alcohol intake seems like a great way to get to sleep faster as alcohol is a depressant rather than a stimulant. What this means is that alcohol does not stimulate the brain as other substances do but instead, slows down brain function and neural activity. It increases the impact of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters, which are responsible for suppressing other neurotransmitters and producing feelings of calmness. But there’s a problem with this theory.
While alcohol may be a sedative, it is not an authentic one. It actually lessens the quality of sleep that you are getting by interfering with your body’s REM sleep cycle. This cycle, known as the rapid eye movement cycle, increases the brain’s activity and is important for learning and memory function. The REM cycle is the time when your body processes information, storing it in your long-term memory. Using alcoholic beverages to treat insomnia can result in memory loss over time.
While alcohol is affecting your GABA neurotransmitters, it is also releasing dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical responsible for feelings of reward, pleasure, and happiness; overall, it produces good feelings. According to the Addiction Center, people enjoy these feelings and will continue to drink to achieve them again. Over time, this can lead to alcohol dependency and addiction.
Addiction in Non-Insomniacs
As alcohol affects the brain and therefore the quality of sleep, many non-insomniacs with substance abuse issues will actually develop insomnia. Also, those who suffer from depression and have increased rates of substance abuse are at a higher risk of developing insomnia. Lastly, people who suffer from medical conditions or chronic disorders such as arthritis or back pain are more likely to have an alcohol dependency, again, leading to insomnia. So, not only does alcohol not treat insomnia, but it can actually cause a sleeping disorder!
How Gladiator Helps
If you suffer from any type of insomnia, whether it be natural or caused by an outside substance,
Gladiator Therapeutics can help. The far infrared technology within our Gladiator Device can help promote quality and healthy sleep simply by resting on either the stomach or back overnight.
NOTE: Content included here is not medical advice, and only is intended as information for adults. Always consult with your health care professional before making changes to diet, exercise, medication, or before use of any product or device.