Alcohol’s Effects on Your Sleep Pattern

Many people hold the notion that alcohol can act as a sedative. Therefore, leading them to the belief that drinking before bed will lead to a better night’s sleep. However, modern science has proven for this to be anything but true.

For one, alcohol is actually a stimulant – to some regards – even though it’s classified as a depressant. If it didn’t wake us up and feel good, millions wouldn’t be going out every Friday night and having their drinks as a means of socializing. Alcohol makes us feel good and it does so in the essence of filling the brain with endorphins. These are the chemicals responsible for us becoming talkative, confident, and less socially ashamed.

These chemicals do eventually wear off and leave us feeling rather sluggish. Ending our drunkenness with a drowsiness. Sometimes, instances appear where an individual has drunk too much to the point of sending themselves into a loss of consciousness. But it should be noted that this is simply the body’s reaction the lack of consumption in terms of blood alcohol levels.

Interestingly, scientific research has led to the conclusion that alcohol, in fact, reduces the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Yet, it increases the amount of time the brain spends within deep sleep.

To top this off, the second half of the sleep cycle is very much disturbed. Causing abusers to not get as good of a night’s sleep and more susceptible to waking up from minor annoyances. With this data, it’s highly suggested that people with insomnia do not use alcohol as a sedative. Though it may help an insomniac fall asleep quicker, there is a very likely chance one will be awakened before they’ve received a full night’s rest.

Some may be asking the question as to whether alcohol is always bad for sleep. There are instances where – in an example – a glass of wine has sedative qualities that will help an individual fall asleep and stay in sleep for a longer period of time. However, it’s highly noted that the body builds a tolerance to alcohol very quickly. And soon enough, the individual would have to increase the amount of alcohol consumption in order to recreate the same effects. With this, they will not only be doing harm to their body but also great damage to their sleep schedule.

Understanding the Sleep Structure with Alcohol

There’s usually a time in everyone’s school career where they learn about the sleep cycle. To those unaware, the average adult begins their night in a stage called NREM (defined non-rapid eye movement). To put it simply, this is when the brain slowly goes from consciousness to unconsciousness.

Following NREM is REM (defined rapid eye movement). During this period is when a sleeper will experience dreams as they are very deep into unconsciousness. Throughout the night, we experience the sleep cycle around four to five times.

When an individual brings the toxification of alcohol into this they are disturbing much of what the brain is used to. In essence, throwing it off the steady course of the cycle and almost creating an entirely new one.

As mentioned, alcohol will make you fall asleep faster as well as cause you to stay within deeper sleep for a longer period of time. With this knowledge, we can understand that the third and fourth stages of the sleep cycle are heightened to some degree. This also causes the SWS (defined slow wave sleep) to increase during the first half of a night’s sleep. For those unaware, SWS is responsible for refurbishing the body and immune system for the following day.

At this point, it does seem as though alcohol may help an individual find sleep. However, it’s during the second half of one’s sleep cycle that a person will experience the disturbance caused by inebriation. REM is greatly reduced during this time, therefore, leaving the user in a very fragile state of mind before a full refreshment of the body is complete.

How Alcohol Affects Everyone’s Sleep Differently

People are likely to have a versatile amount of experiences while attempting to sleep with alcohol in their system. For alcoholics, these experiences may happen more frequently than to that of a non-alcoholic having their fun with a night of drinking. And vice versa.

Being that alcohol also affects us all differently, the number of possibilities in which an individual sleeps – or wakes up – to remain inconsistent.

  1. Waking Up Too EarlyAs mentioned, the second half of the sleep cycle is very much disturbed by alcohol flowing through the blood. Being this, people will often find themselves waking up in the early morning – before their intended wake up time – and unable to fall back asleep. This is commonly known as the rebound effect.
  2. Combining Pills with AlcoholPreferably, we’re going to quickly discuss sleeping pills as many believe it’s a way to counteract any disturbance brought on by alcohol. Though some may find themselves getting full night’s rest – or even more – there is much danger in sleeping pills combined with alcohol. For one, the body is not receiving proper refurbishing as it would in a healthy body. But also, there are chances of accidents that could lead to fatal situations.
  3. Night SweatsAlcohol has the ability to open up blood vessels which, in essence, heat up the body to temperatures all too warm. With this, individuals will have the tendency to sweat throughout the night.
  4. Increased SnoringPeople who are affected by snoring are likely to worsen their symptoms. Being that alcohol relaxes the muscles in the throat and airway. If you’re not affected by snoring, there’s still the chance of gaining these symptoms through alcohol.
  5. Increased UrinationThis one may be obvious, but the more alcohol an individual is going to consume, the more they’re going have to use the bathroom. With this, it can be assumed that a night’s sleep will often be disturbed by the constant necessity of urination.
  6. Increased Chance of SleepwalkingBeing that alcohol increases our SWS, there are likely chances of people suffering from somnambulism increasing their suffering through drinking. The occurrence of sleepwalking happens more frequently in the SWS. Therefore, with alcohol only heightening the condition, people may find themselves in the position of sleepwalking more frequently.


If you or anyone you love is looking for alcohol abuse treatment or desire more information on how alcohol affects a person’s sleep patterns, please, give us a call at 602-535-6468 or email us at

Opioid Epidemic Triggers Arizona into Statewide Emergency


The Arizona Department of Health Services just released a set of data that shows in 2016, there were 790 opioid-related deaths across the state. This calculates to an average of more than two deaths per day.

The opium trend has seen a nationwide increase in recent years. The New York Times reported a 39% increase in American heroin deaths between 2012 and 2013. In the state of Arizona, the opium market has seen a distressing increase of 74% in the four years.

Out of concern over where this all can lead, Governor Doug Ducey signed an emergency declaration on June 5th, 2017 to address the issue. This declaration directs the Arizona Department of Health Services to quickly make a response to the growing epidemic.


“As the number of opioid overdoses and deaths increase at an alarming rate, we must take action. It’s time to call this what it is – an emergency,” proclaimed Governor Ducey. “Most of us know someone impacted by substance abuse – our family, our friends, our neighbors. Our hearts ache for them, but that isn’t enough. We must do more. I’m declaring a statewide health emergency because we need to know more about the epidemic, including enhanced data that illustrates when and where these overdoses occur so that we can develop real, targeted solutions.”


Stonewall Institute Treatment Center understands the Governor’s concern and the necessity of a statewide emergency. Being that we’re a facility aimed to care for those looking to come off these sort of substances, we assure that we are going to do all in our power to help with this epidemic.


“The only way we will be able to make an impact in the opioid epidemic is to come together as a community, and this declaration helps us move forward quickly,” assured Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “We will look into improving prescription practices, addressing polydrug use, and analyzing raw data on overdose deaths that occur to see where the problem areas are and learn how we can make changes to save lives.”


This declaration will give Arizona the capability of coordinating with a variety of different public health efforts, whether statewide, local, or even private. The goal of this to allow the state to employ all its public health resources.

The idea is to prevent:

● the epidemic from spreading even further.

● more drug overdose deaths.

The declaration articulates enhanced reporting from doctors and hospitals, in terms of opioid overdoses. This declaration has been passed in a time when change is absolutely needed. If you or anyone you know has been victim to this opioid epidemic, please help us make that change.

To schedule a tour of our facility, make an appointment for an Evaluation, or just have questions about your options, call Stonewall Institute Treatment Center today: 602-535-6468 or email us at

5 Common Myths about Alcoholism

There are many myths and misconceptions about alcoholism and who alcoholics are.  Those who are not in the recovery community contribute to the perpetuation of these myths via stereotypes and being generally unaware of what addiction actually consists of.   These myths may also contribute to the stigmatization of alcoholism.

Here, we’ve listed 5 common myths associated with alcoholism and alcoholic behavior.

Myth #1:   All Alcoholics Are The Same

Many people believe that all alcoholics are the same.  Common stereotypes about alcoholics include being unemployed, not having much money, drinking only hard alcohol, drink alone, getting sloppy while drinking, don’t have strong family relationships, etc. 

These stereotypes can be true in some cases, but in many other cases, the opposite is true.  Highly functioning alcoholics exist, and it can lead to a stronger denial that they have a problem. Addiction does not discriminate and people from all backgrounds are affected. 

Myth #2:   Alcoholism Can Be Cured

Many believe that once you complete an addiction treatment program, you are then cured of your alcoholism.  This is not the case.  Once somebody is an alcoholic, they will always be one.  One drink will never be enough, and their drinking habits will never be considered normal.

Alcoholism is a lifelong disease, and addiction treatment is one that must be continually maintained.  After residential treatment, outpatient treatment, sober living, etc., it’s extremely important to begin involvement in a 12-step program and aftercare services.  Getting a sponsor and being accountable will help keep your alcoholism in check.  Alcohol recovery is a continuous process.

Myth #3:   Alcoholism is a Choice, not a Disease

A common belief about alcoholism is that alcoholics bring their condition on themselves and that they can stop drinking whenever they want. 

Alcoholics are unable to control their drinking and they cannot stop drinking after one or two drinks.  They are powerless over alcohol.  Alcoholism is not a lifestyle choice somebody makes, it’s a vicious and deadly disease that needs to be treated as such.  Many factors may contribute to alcoholism:  genetics, environmental factors, stress levels, other mental illnesses, etc. 

Myth #4:   Relapsing is Failure

When somebody relapses, some will equate this to failing.  Relapse does not equal failure, relapse is simply a part of that person’s journey to recovery.  Yes, relapsing is painful, frustrating, and disappointing.  It can make you feel as though you’ve failed, but know that relapse, albeit unwelcome, is very common.  In fact, studies show that more than half of newly recovering addicts will relapse within 1 year of sobriety. 

Myth #5:   Once Alcohol is Eliminated from an Addict’s Life, All Problems Go Away

When an alcoholic experienced stress, frustration, insomnia, anger, sadness, etc. while active in their disease, they turned to drinking.  Drinking was their coping mechanism and the quick-fix for their problems.  The alcohol gave immediate relief, but when you eliminate that relief method, you need to find a healthier and more long-term way of coping. 

Alcohol use can create more problems in ones life, but simply eliminating alcohol will not make all of their problems go away.  The same problems exist with or without alcohol.  However, instead of escaping their problems, they must learn to manage them in a healthy and positive way.

Stonewall Institute Treatment Center provides world-class addiction treatment care in Phoenix, AZ.   In just 10 weeks, our Intensive Outpatient Treatment program can help you establish a solid foundation for achieving and maintaining a meaningful life of sobriety.  We will help you make purposeful life changes in a supportive, non-judgmental setting.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol issue, we can help. Call Stonewall Institute Treatment Center today to schedule a confidential clinical evaluation with one of our qualified professionals at 602-535-6468.

Alcohol Evaluation Arizona

Also what about dui arrest and punishment after all? Before you even notice, your financial and mental burden will increase dramatically. A DUI conviction could be a crucial time in your life because the DUI penalty may ruin your freedom in many ways. In addition, if you are convicted of DUI or DWI then you are required to carry SR22 car insurance for a certain period of time and the premium rate is higher than regular auto insurance policy because many companies will have to reconsider the liabilities of drivers with DUI records and thus dui insurance is not cheap in the end.

To schedule a DUI-Related Substance Abuse Evaluation, contact Stonewall Institute at 602-535-6468

Alcohol Evaluation Arizona

Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.

Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a drug class specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist.

Tolerance is the body’s physical adaptation to a drug: greater amounts of the drug are required over time to achieve the initial effect as the body “gets used to” and adapts to the intake.

To schedule a DUI-Related Substance Abuse Evaluation, contact Stonewall Institute at 602-535-6468


DUI Evaluation Arizona

Alcohol is created when grains, fruits, or vegetables are fermented, a process that uses yeast or bacteria to change the sugars in the food into alcohol. Alcohol has different forms and can be used as a cleaner or antiseptic; however the kind of alcohol that people drink is ethanol, which is a sedative. When alcohol is consumed, it’s absorbed into a person’s bloodstream. From there, it affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), which controls virtually all body functions. Alcohol actually blocks some of the messages trying to get to the brain. This alters a person’s perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing.

To schedule a DUI-Related Substance Abuse Evaluation, contact Stonewall Institute at 602-535-6468

DUI Evaluation Tempe

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a term used by most states, for being legally intoxicated or impaired while operating a motor vehicle.

Each year, states enact stronger DUI laws and more severe drunk driving penalties. You could lose your driver’s license, be placed in jail and fined substantial fees. Your car insurance rates may rise and you could end up with a criminal conviction on your record that could impact your future and your employment opportunities.

If you or someone you know has recently received a DUI and would like to schedule a DUI-Related Substance Abuse Evaluation, contact Stonewall Institute at 602-535-6468.

DUI Evaluation Tempe

The more heavily you drink every day, the more likely you will develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. Alcohol withdrawal refers to symptoms that may occur when a person who has been drinking too much alcohol every day suddenly stops drinking alcohol.

Alcohol withdrawal usually occurs within 5 – 10 hours of the person’s last drink.  The following is generally considered excessive alcohol use:

  • More than 15 drinks per week for men or 8 drinks per week for women
  • More than 5 drinks per day for men or 4 drinks per day for women
  • Habitual use of alcohol that disrupts a person’s life and routines, regardless of amount consumed

An example of such, is a DUI.  For reinstatement of driving privileges in Tempe, AZ the Arizona Department of Transportation requires an evaluation.  Contact Stonewall Institute at 602-535-6468 to schedule and appointment for a drug evaluation or alcohol evaluation for ADOT Motor Vehicle Division.

Alcohol Evaluation Arizona

Physicians in the emergency department (ED) regularly encounter patients seeking treatment for alcohol or substance abuse problems. The initial evaluation may seem routine, yet these patients have multiple physical and emotional issues that should be addressed. The emergency physician should strive to identify patients who might benefit from appropriate referrals for drug problems and alcohol problems. The ED may be the initial or only point of contact with the health care system for these patients.
To obtain a drug evaluation or alcohol evaluation in the state of Arizona, contact Stonewall Institute in Phoenix, Arizona at 602-535-6468.

DUI Evaluation Arizona

According to alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics and facts, alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in situations that can result in the failure to attend to important responsibilities at school, work, or at home; ongoing alcohol-related relationship problems; the experience of recurring alcohol-related legal problems; and/or physical injury.

Stonewall Institute offers DUI evaluation services in order for individuals to be considered for the reinstatement of driving privileges in the state of Arizona.

To schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor regarding DUI substance abuse evaluation Arizona, contact the Stonewall Institute at 602-535-6468.