Valiant Living Blog

Is Passing Out Really Sleeping?

Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Drugs and alcohol are notorious for breaking a person’s sleep cycle. Whether you are staying up all night (or for days in some cases) or you are passing out after a long and hard bender, it is safe to say that you are probably not getting a good night’s rest because of the copious amounts of drugs and alcohol you are consuming. Chances are you are not waking up refreshed after you pass out because abusing these substances causes havoc on the body.

The normal amount of sleep adults should strive for every day is somewhere between seven to nine hours each night to be able to properly function the next day although sleep is different for everyone. There are four stages of sleep that the body needs to go through for daily renewal. The first three stages get the body ready for the fourth stage of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep which gives you the deep sleep you need. When someone drinks to the point of passing out, they are missing out on the last two stages of sleep which makes them miss out on the crucial stage of REM sleep. 

Why is REM sleep so important?

You have probably heard that drugs and alcohol kill brain cells which is what literally happens when someone abuses them and then chronically passes out. REM sleep is essential in helping you to learn and retain daily information. By staying under the influence for long periods of time, the brain stimulates in the wrong way and then pass out without getting the necessary sleep needed for optimal brain function. 

How does passing out affect your sleep?

Since a person will only get to the stages of light sleep, the body is less restorative. REM sleep is not attained when an individual passes out and denies them the ability to repair the body’s muscles and tissues while adversely affecting their creativity and productivity. Sleep is continuously interrupted causing them to wake up before they get to REM sleep, have vivid dreams that could also wake them up, or generate an uncomfortable body temperature as their body tries to regulate itself from the drugs and alcohol. 

People who have drug and alcohol addiction often drink and use to the point of passing out because they cannot stop once they start. A person’s loved ones may be relieved that they are finally sleeping, but this is a huge misconception. Passing out does not make anyone get to sleep in the way the body needs to perform in the best way possible. Passing out is just passing time until you come to from your latest inebriated state. 

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463