Tiredness has a lot to answer for I reckon. Without us even realising it. Living in a state of general tiredness makes everything harder.

And this isn’t “I’ve-only-had-2-hours-sleep-for-four-days” tiredness. This is “I’ve-been-sleeping-badly-for-ten-years” tiredness. The slow burning, long build-up tiredness that we don’t even realise is there.

When I was boozing (most of my adult life) I slept like crap. Always. I used to call it ‘alcohol insomnia’. I often woke at around 3am with a bursting bladder, sick guts, and pounding head … and in the last few years of my drinking add to that list of woes an overwhelming feeling of guilt and misery.

Even on the nights I did manage to sleep through it wasn’t good  quality sleep because alcohol messes with your sleep patterns, like majorly. Read this article if you want all the science-y stuff about why that is. It’ll shock you.

Now I’m sober – well I sleep great! I sleep the blissful sleep of a sober person every night pretty much. Regularly I wake up and am like ‘Whoa! Another eight hours just like that!’

I’m sure this tiredness is a big part of why we feel so awful when we are locked into a boozy lifestyle. Regularly newly sober people in the Members Feed here at Living Sober (our lovely community area) are complaining of feeling soooooo tired when they first take the alcohol away – and I’m pretty sure that’s because their body is catching up!! And in their non-boozed state they really start to realise how tired they’ve been. After a good few weeks of not drinking they start to catch up on sleep and slowly feel so much better for it.

That’s why a big part of the early stages of sobriety is just getting through. ‘Hang on’ we say to newbies… ‘Hang on, you’ll find all this stuff easier to deal with when you’re better rested’. It takes a long time to properly catch up on long-term sleep deprivation.

I think it’s WAY easier to deal with difficult stuff when we’re not so tired. EVERYTHING is easier to manage when we’re well rested. Arianna Huffington – founder of the Huffington Post website and general all-round awesome woman – calls herself a ‘sleep evangelist’ and advocates for all of her employees to be better rested. She says “There’s practically no aspect of life that’s not improved by sleep and, accordingly, diminished by lack of sleep”. You can read more by her on this topic here and here.

It’s really obvious to me now that when I’m tired my mood is affected. When I’m tired I am far more likely to fall into negative thought patterns. When I’m tired I can get very ‘woe is me’. Often I forget to equate that to my tiredness.

I’ve been a bit like that this past week. A low-level malaise was creeping over my thoughts. Nothing earth-shattering but it was there. I wasn’t my most light and joyous self.

For the past three nights in a row I have slept like a dead person. 8 1/2 – 9 hours each night. I’ve been eating sleep. Obviously my body has needed it. I’ve hardly been able to keep my eyes open in front on the tele!

And today I am starting to feel well rested again and more cheery.

Like I said, tiredness has a lot to answer for.

Love, Mrs D xxx

A quick note: If you are new here at Living Sober make sure you go take a look inside our Community Area. You need to register to get in there but it’s very easy, free, and you can be anonymous! Just input your email address, choose a username and join. You’ll then get an email with a link to click on to confirm your account and then you’re in! (If you don’t receive the confirmation email check your spam folder). It’s worth registering as a member because inside the Community Area is where all of the real-time interactions are going on. It’s a very special, kind and non-judgemental space. Hope to see you there!

  1. beggyboots 4 years ago

    ive been sober now for 28 days ,and this time around it feels so much easier
    in the past i tried to tackle everthing at one time,like giving up drinking,going on a diet
    ,exercising -so ive learned from earlier mistakes and im concentrating on one thing at a
    time now.it feels great to wake up with a clear head and just enjoy the day that lies ahead’

  2. andy hughes 5 years ago

    Steven Z,
    I know you feel there is no hope but there is.
    I have struggled for years with this disease and understanding the first step is key. In addition to contacting the wonderful people at AA, many of whom have been if a more desperate state than you can imagine. I also recommend step 1 on you tube by this guy:


    Watching this video made me “get it”

  3. Steven z 5 years ago

    Im a full blown alcoholic and i cant stop. I drink everyday and im fully functional. I domt know what to do.

    • Danny 4 years ago

      i would pass on alcoholics anonymous and the victim mentality.

      Here’s a trick that worked for me and has me 4 weeks sober (as a beer wolf):

      Sparkling water (perrier, la croix) satisfies the behavioral urge to have something cold fizzy and in a can that you can slam.

      Zero calories and sugar are great for your physique too.

      So I still load up my backpack with what were once beer for a beach trip, or at the house, or whatever, just keep slamming La Croix –

      Oddly enough I keep waking up expecting a hangover and there’s nothing, I also expect to be buzzed when I’ve had like 4, again – nothing. Sounds weird but it’s true. The act of finishing one and going to the fridge for another – all the weird little behavioral ticks are satisfied, everything except the beer.

      That said, I allow myself to use marijuana which I’ve never really seen as a health issue on the same scale as constant COVID lockdown drinking.

      I’m super exhausted still, but it’s a different kind of exhausting, more like “feeling the tiredness that has been there all along”

    • Mike 5 years ago

      You have to find a reason you want to quit.. I did it for a girl… we broke up pretty quickly but I stuck with it 17 months sober after 20 years drinking

    • Sherry Ruth 5 years ago

      Please just go to an AA meeting. They know how to help. Read Alcohol Explained (book) and educate yourself about what you are doing to your body. The information will help you decide what to do.
      Seriously, you will be in my prayers, for strength, comfort and guidance.

    • Bobby 5 years ago

      Go to Alcoholic Anonymous, it is great . Just give it a try . The first meeting is the hardest as everyone is a stranger and unknown to you . But they are all so friendly so soon you gonna feel the great impact on you !

  4. Donkey 6 years ago

    Hi everyone

  5. Flybynight 6 years ago

    I’m the same, no stress in work, but just millions of thoughts going through my head. It’s the main reason I failed giving up alcohol in the past – I’d go for up to 6 days without sleep, tossing and turning and waking up every hour and taking ages to go back to sleep….. then I’d say stuff it I need sleep, drink a bottle of wine and fall asleep on the couch. Thing is after a couple of hours I’d wake up, go in to be and sleep great the rest of the night. I didn’t get hangovers and unless I’d really over done it, I felt rested in the morning.

    I’m now only on day 3 and haven’t slept in two nights and already feeling awful, really want to stick to it this time so hoping this is only temporary. I was never a good sleeper before I started drinking so it might just be part of who I am 🙁

    • B 3 years ago

      Hi. I thought the same, “Might just be part of who I am.” I started drinking young, to sleep through abuse. Then, I love to be the life of the party and to be uninhibited. Being older now, I need to get my health in check. The first 3 nights were the hardest. I found Sleep Support-which has saved me. La Croix does fill the urge to slam something cold and bubbly. Best of luck.


  6. MrWTF 6 years ago

    I never had a clue how tired I was when I was drinking. Because I “slept” (ie passed out) every night, I guess I thought that qualified as rest, but in hindsight, 4 hours of drunken “sleep” every night was an exceptionally unhealthy way to live.

    When I stopped working, I pretty much just slept for the first month, and at the end of it, all the aches and pains that I’d just assumed were normal were totally gone.

    So yeah… rest matters.

  7. MissBennet 6 years ago

    With a clarity of mind the added strain from stress doesn’t help for a fitful sleep. Without the alcohol, work stress no longer goes away unfortunately and replays all night long despite going to bed early. It’s on a loop. I’m really hoping this will go away in time too and that its part of the early stages. ;(

  8. LaRuse 6 years ago

    Alcohol also affects the body’s ability to absorb some vitamins and nutrients; particularly B vitamins. A depletion of those B vitamins can lead to debilitating fatigue.
    I strongly encourage other newly sober people to consider a quality B vitamin complex supplement and if your fatigue doesn’t improve, consider requesting bloodwork to see if you may be anemic.

  9. Cinderella 6 years ago

    I never allowed myself the luxury of being or feeling tired. It was how I was able to operate day to day. Sober or drunk. Even when I was being told how tired I looked I would live in denial. I was a do everything and don’t complain person for years Doh!! Now, I let myself feel tired but I care and manage how I deal with it. What was I thinking not delegating stuff out to others. Dumb right 🙂 Sober = clear eyes and clear thoughts. Glad you’re back to your cheery self Mrs D xx

  10. mullycatNZ 6 years ago

    Yes, yes YES!! Sleep is life, so much better when I’m not boozing, I <3 going to bed and waking up hangover free, day after day after day!!

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