Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Vivid Dreams?

Alcohol disrupts your brain’s normal functioning by slowing down its processes. The depressant effect is most noticeable when you have trouble thinking or speaking clearly. You may also notice that you fall asleep faster and tend to forget your dreams when you’ve been drinking. People who quit drinking often report that alcohol withdrawal causes vivid dreams, and it absolutely can. The reason why quitting alcohol impacts your sleep is related to how drinking affects your entire body.

Drinking alcohol regularly causes your brain to work harder to achieve the same functions that it would if you were sober. In a sense, your brain goes into overdrive while you are under the influence of alcohol, and quitting drinking makes this more noticeable. For instance, you might notice that you have more anxiety during times when you try to quit drinking on your own. You might also experience physical symptoms of increased brain activity such as tremors. Your dreams are another area where you might notice marked changes during your first few days of sobriety.

For some people, vivid dreams are interesting and comforting when they include enjoyable scenarios. For others, this alcohol withdrawal symptom can be absolutely terrifying, and you might find yourself waking up in a cold sweat from nightmares that feel incredibly real. In either instance, vivid dreams are a sign that your brain is attempting to return to its normal way of processing information. You can also rest assured that they won’t last forever. Once your body clears the alcohol from its system, your brain will start to return to normal. Most people’s vivid dreams disappear within a week or two, but your brain will continue to heal for quite some time during your recovery.

Get Help With All of Your Alcohol Detox Symptoms

There is no real way to know for sure if you will have vivid dreams when you quit drinking. Typically, your risk of having serious withdrawal symptoms increases if you drink alcohol heavily and on a frequent basis. This is because your body is more likely to have developed a physical dependency, but you can also have vivid dreams from a single episode of binge drinking. If you are worried about having vivid dreams or just had one, then you may need help with detoxing from alcohol.

An alcohol detox center offers you a safe place to begin your recovery. When you first show up to the center, the staff will do a health inventory to find out what types of help will work best for giving you a smoother start to sobriety. Depending upon how you respond to quitting drinking, you might experience any or all of the following symptoms.

  • anxiety
  • nightmares
  • brain fog
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • clammy skin
  • nausea

While no one wants to feel sick, these symptoms are a good sign that your body is already starting its recovery. They also tend to peak briefly soon after you quit drinking and begin to fade over the first week of getting sober. You do need to be prepared for potentially having severe symptoms, and this is where your detox treatment can help. Your treatment team might offer you medication to help with your symptoms such as nausea and anxiety. They can also provide you with emotional support that makes it easier to handle how you feel. Being able to have someone talk you through an anxiety attack or learning how to meditate helps you to stay strong when you begin to feel weak. If you’ve had severe withdrawal symptoms in the past, then you can also enjoy the reassurance that comes from having people around you during your first few days of sobriety.

In addition to giving you general support, m your detox program can also help you to deal with vivid dreams if they do happen. Learning how to manage your stress and anxiety throughout the day makes it more likely that your brain will relax at night so that you can have better dreams. If a realistic nightmare does occur, then you can learn how to work through it with strategies such as imagery reversal therapy. This strategy involves you changing the ending to a nightmare that you wake up from. You can then replay the new ending in your mind throughout the day until your dream no longer feels so threatening. This technique is one that you can use anytime, even after you get through your first few days of recovery.

Are you ready to stop worrying about withdrawal symptoms and start making your best dreams come true? Give us a call today at 833-497-3812 to get help finding an alcohol detox center that can ease your first steps into sobriety.