Alcohol and sleepless night

Patient

Q: I changed my ways of eating to live a healthier lifestyle, less junk, less processed food, sweets and I work out daily. I also use to drink every weekend, that changed to just drinking on occasions. Well now even just taking half of a shot of liquor (usually cognac) effects my sleep. One little half a shot will keep me awake for the next 24 hours. Mind you I don't get drunk. I drank alcohol for 10 years and never had this problem. I tried everything, eat a full meal few hours prior, stay hydrated before, during and after drinking and even took a vitamin earlier in the day but no matter what I feel alcohol heating through my blood stream with added insomnia. I actually miss sleeping and waking up with a hangover instead. I'm assuming my liver is too clean. Anyways with holidays coming I wish I can enjoy a casual drink with family and friends and sleep the night through! I am wondering is there any way to fix this? I would quitting drinking but I like the taste of a beer once in awhile. Thank You

Symptoms:  Insomnia, feeling of warm blood rushing through arms
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. This is a very peculiar reaction you are experiencing with alcohol. It could possibly be that your tolerance to alcohol has dramatically decreased since you cut down your drinking. Alcohol can act as both as a depressant and stimulant. The depressive affects of alcohol are commonly lethargy, imbalance, and cognitive impairment.
Alcohol also increases the release of dopamine in the brain, which is associated with elevated mood, satiety, and pleasure. It may be possible that you could be experiencing increased stimulant effects of alcohol resulting in your insomnia. We are unable to comment on how to remedy this, but if the effects of alcohol is causing you insomnia, maybe you should consider giving it up permanently.

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