Contrary to how it sounds, sleep drunkenness has nothing to do with alcohol intoxication. Instead, it relates to feelings of confusion and disorientation when an individual is woken from a deep sleep. The potential causes of sleep drunkenness may be related to other factors that affect your sleep.

Here’s What Happens When You Drink Before Bed

It’s important to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep) or sleep apnea (when breathing stops multiple time a night) if they are present. Studies of the effects of repeated alcohol administration over multiple nightsare rare and suffer from small sample sizes. However, a person’s sleep quality after alcohol consumption is generally worse. People who consume alcohol may wake up during sleep and experience increased disruptions such as sleep apnea and snoring. Consuming alcohol causes physiological changes that affect snorers and people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when tissues in the nose or throat collapse and temporarily obstruct the airway. It also causes changes to blood vessels in the nose, leading to greater airway resistance in the nasal passages.

2 Links between sleep EEG effects and altered brain structure in alcoholism

  1. Some individuals find that alcohol consumption can trigger hot flashes and night sweats during menopause.
  2. Alcohol consumption can lead to a lack of sufficient quality sleep, which can seriously affect cognitive functions such as learning and memory.
  3. During confusional arousal, a person’s behavior may seem a lot like that of someone who’s intoxicated.
  4. Confusional arousals are episodes in which a sleeping person wakes up—or seems to wake up—but behaves strangely as though they are disoriented or confused.

“Some people end up sleeping in separate rooms, and that can have a negative impact on you and your partner,” says Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez. Police arrested Patel that day and then again this past Monday when they got evidence to charge her with DUI and vehicular homicide. Police say 40-year-old Patel was behind 3 ways to pass a urine drug test the wheel of another car while drunk, in possession of cocaine and while sleep-deprived. Caffeine makes that muscle contract, telling you to pee before the bladder is even full. Because caffeinated beverages so often go hand-in-hand with alcohol (think rum and Coke), this is a double-whammy for your bladder.

Sleep Drunkenness: A Far More Severe Form of Sleep Inertia

If you find that you need more alcohol to feel its effects, it might be time to take a closer look at your drinking habits. If bothered by persistent or recurrent confusional arousals, consider consultation with a board-certified sleep physician. It may be possible to identify techniques or treatments to reduce their frequency. If it appears you’re having confusional arousals because you have some type of sleep disorder, treating that will likely put an end to them. Research suggests that confusional arousal happens when different regions of the brain fail to fully communicate with each other. As a result, some parts of the sleeper’s brain stay asleep while others suddenly awake.

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And when your partner mentions your behavior later, you have no memory of it. And you’re not alone — this condition affects at least 1 in 7 people. But if you’re drinking to excess or late into the night, this suppression of ADH can continue long after you hit the hay.

Here’s how we can face our triggers with less reactivity so that we can get on with our lives. Sleep drunkenness may also result from getting amphetamine withdrawal symptoms either too little or too much sleep. It can also interfere with your relationships if it bothers your partner or family members.

During the first hour or two you fall the fast onset of the slow wave sleep makes it very hard for someone to wake you, and you may have fewer REM cycles during this time. This form of REM rebound cannot explain theincreased REM in those who have been abstinent for a long time, relative to controls. It ispossible that increased REM sleep may represent a predisposition to altered sleep ratherthan a consequence of alcohol abuse; although REM is not elevated in adolescents with apositive family history of alcoholism (Tarokh et al.2012). Another possibility is that alcohol abuse leads to long-lastingneurochemical changes in the brain stem. Figure 2 (adapted from (Colrain, Turlington, and Baker 2009b) gives an example of theproportions of wakefulness (pre-sleep and throughout the night), and different sleep stagesin alcoholic and control men and women.

Alcohol can have a sedative effect and cause a person to fall asleep more quickly than usual. However, consuming alcohol can also cause sleep disruption and other adverse effects on people’s health. If you are one of the nearly two thirds of Americans who drink alcohol, chances are, you’ve had a drink in the hours before bedtime. Maybe you enjoy a glass of beer or wine after dinner, or your weekends include drinking with friends at bars or social events. More research needs to be done on this topic to determine exactly how the two are related. For now, scientists do know that taking drugs can cause confusional arousal and other sleep disorders.

Nighttime drunkenness is a potentially dangerous condition and could even lead to death in rare circumstances. To answer these questions accurately, you may need the help of a friend, roommate, or relative that lives with you. If adult children of alcoholics you’re experiencing any of these situations, you’re not likely to remember them, so a witness may help shed some light. When asked about what happened or was said during an episode, the person will often have no recollection.