Withdrawal insomnia?

I am on day 8 sober from alcohol. I used to drink to fall asleep, but now that I don’t have that, I’m struggling not just to fall asleep, but to stay asleep. I take some melatonin to help me wind down, I do all the good sleep hygiene stuff, and am typically in bed, ready to rest, by 11. I fall asleep around 12, and find myself wide awake at 3 or 4. This never happened while I was drinking. I’d wake up, pee, and go right back to sleep.

Any suggestions on how to cope with this weird insomnia or knowledge about when it will stop (if ever)? It makes me want to reach for a bottle of wine just so I can go to sleep and stay asleep through the night, even though I know it isn’t quality rest.


I second what @C-sun said, last time I quit for 6 weeks I couldn’t sleep right for 2-3 weeks then it gets quite dramatically better.

I’m on day 5 now and have woken up at 4am for the last few nights :sleepy::sleepy::sleepy:

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Valium or benzodiazepines can help. If you go to your doctor and explain everything, they can help you out. When I was in detox, I was on a lot of valium to deal with the withdrawal.

Also if you can, try to rest and sleep in the day. The DTs hit you worse at night.

I’m on day 10. I started to use lush sleepy. https://uk.lush.com/products/twilight/sleepy I find it really good. Maybe that’s just me though.

I had insomnia and terrible restlessness the very first time I quit but this goes along with the fact that I was drinking all day long and sleeping after blacking out. Suddenly I was wide awake, which was quite terrifying but also logical as alcohol is a sedative drug.
Give yourself some time, your body will get used to this and you will start sleeping so much better. Keep going, you’ve got this!

Ahhh…well, I only wish I could use those for my insomnia, but this addict would be popping those babies like candy. I actually got a script from my doc during the hurricane and didn’t abuse them…but I cannot bear having them around.

Sadly, insomnia has been an issue for me for decades. It got worse when I first got sober and got marginally better after a few months. I have had luck with resetting myself with 2mg of melatonin every night for a few days. Benadryl helps at times. Laying off caffeine (dark chocolate!!) at night is a must. Working out helps a lot to make me sleep better.

If you are a situational insomniac, your sleep should improve over time. I know it sucks. Keep sober, that is a true gift to yourself.


Thank you for all the feedback, folks. I’m reluctant to use Valium or benzos, even though I’ve never had a pill problem. I’m going to try to improve my sleep hygiene and wait it out.

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Yea the insomnia sucks hard. But it’s not like passing out drunk like I used to was a restful night’s sleep!

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Wise choice!!!

I’m at 13 days…awake every single freaking night at 3 am. I use a Fitbit sleep tracker and my REM and deep sleep is all out of whack. They had me on Xanax the first week which gave me great sleep, but I’m not taking that anymore because I know the dangers. So for the time being, I’m just settling in to having a waking period at 3 am…if I could just push it an hour later, I’d go ahead and get to the gym, but the energy is lacking right now. Things will improve I am told.

Listen!!! Magnesium—-I had insomnia coming off of suboxone…nothing I tried worked until I went and got magnesium-this stuff did the trick…mixed with some valerian root…I tried melatonin,kava,chamomile,eating foods high in tryptophan,meditation,benadryl,etc etc nothing worked until I found magnesium


Magnesium has been weird for me, but great for pooping! What type do you take?

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Mag is great just make sure it doesn’t interfere with any Rx meds. Mag and Melatonin have been a sleep staple for me for years…Zinc is another one to add into the mix…Mag will act like a laxative though, so watch the dosage.


I’m currently on Lexapro…not supposed to take melatonin or magnesium due to interactions - but after I get through this initial adjustment period, I’m gonna get off the Lexapro and hopefully get back to the supplements - way better sleep with way less side effects.

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I took lexapro when I was drinking…bad mix. I imagine it works pretty well without alcohol in the mix.

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Yeah it’s a horrible mix…my wife has done that and it’s no bueno.

I get it at the health food store it’s called natural calm and tbh I learned my lesson regarding the bms so I ussually use half a packet to relax since magnesium has such a calming effect…and I don’t take meds anymore so yeah

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I had restless leg really bad at first and couldnt get comfortable. I had to take benedryl for a few nights it helped alot.

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When you say magnesium, what kind and dosage. Magnesium sulfate or another one. I have some magnesium but I also heard it makes your bowels loss and since I came off pain meds they don’t need any extra encouragement :grin:

I’m on day 8 off of suboxone and I had Gabapentin for the first week to detox but now that that’s gone the insomnia and restlessness is killllinnggg me! Thank you for this! Magnesium alone or does it have to be with valerian root?