Insomnia is a very common withdrawal symptom for many drugs, including alcohol. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it isn’t easy to deal with. Laying awake all night, tossing and turning, and waking up every few hours is difficult for anyone to deal with, and this isn’t even considering other withdrawal symptoms. Here is how you can deal with insomnia during an alcohol or drug withdrawal.

Have a Bedtime Routine

Having a bedtime routine helps to calm your brain down before going to bed. It also tends to make you more comfortable and prepared for sleeping. Not only does it calm you down, but it prepares your body for a full night’s rest as well. Having a set time you go to bed and a set time to wake up helps to establish a bedtime routine, and doing calming activities can help you relax. These calming activities could be things as simple as reading a book, taking a bath, and listening to relaxing music. It is important to note that it helps to follow a bedtime routine for a while to see the positive results.

Avoid Stressful or Stimulating Activities Before Bed

As we mentioned before, doing calming activities before bed can prepare you for a full night’s sleep. As you can imagine partaking in stressful or stimulating activities has the opposite effect. Doing things like watching exciting TV shows or movies, exercising, or doing any other kind of taxing activity right before bed will increase the chances of not falling asleep when you want to. This is especially true when you go through an alcohol or drug detox that involves uncomfortable or painful withdrawal symptoms.


Oftentimes, those recovering from addictions have bodies that have a hard time releasing essential hormones and endorphins without the use of an addictive substance. Exercise can help the body to start releasing these naturally again. Although exercising, in general, can reduce insomnia, weight training has been shown to specifically improve this withdrawal symptom. As we have already mentioned, you should not do any intensive exercise right before bed because it can make falling asleep more difficult. Choosing to exercise in the mornings or afternoons can be an excellent way to avoid this problem, however.

Try Meditation or Yoga

Meditation and yoga both combine breathing exercises with mindfulness, which helps with reducing stress and anxiety. Although meditating or doing yoga at any time can help with reducing these things, this is a great calming activity that you can do before going to bed. It can also help with reducing heart and breathing rates. This calms your body physically while practicing mindfulness relaxes the mind. In fact, many alcohol and drug rehab centers have included meditation and yoga into their programs because of their proven calming effects. “Yoga and meditation classes are an important part of our treatment therapy, as they have proven to help deeply relax our clients,” says Mat Gorman, CEO at Nova Recovery Center.

Make Sure You are Eating a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet with enough of all of the essential vitamins and minerals improves overall body function. This has been shown to reduce the intensity of many withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia. If you find that your diet does not include enough of the vital vitamins and minerals, then you can take a multivitamin, or specific vitamins, to make the difference. Of course, drinking enough water is an element of a balanced diet that should never be forgotten about as well.

Take Sleep Aids

There are both prescription and over the counter sleep aids available for those who experience insomnia. These can be very helpful. However, it is very important to note that both of these types of sleep medications can have side effects when mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Some types of prescription sleep medications can be addictive, as well. For these reasons, it is always suggested that anyone starting sleep aid medications consult their doctor before doing so.


Insomnia is a very common and frustrating alcohol and drug withdrawal symptom. However, there are things that you can do if you are experiencing insomnia. Having a set time to go to bed and wake up can help to establish a strong bedtime routine. Having a bedtime routine that involves calming activities can prepare the mind and body for a full night’s sleep. But you will likely need to follow this routine for a while before seeing any positive results. It is also suggested that you avoid any stressful or stimulating activities during this nightly routine. In addition to this, doing things like exercising, practicing meditation or yoga, and eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals can help with reducing insomnia. Sleep aids are also available if the previous remedies are not providing results. But it always suggested that any recovering addict starting these medications consult their doctor before starting any of these.