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How Heavy Alcohol Use Damages Memory Function


Many people who drink alcohol experience brain fog, and it can be quite debilitating. It’s difficult to admit that your alcohol use has gotten out of control and that you need to make changes to your life, but trying to quit alcohol on your own can be challenging and even dangerous for your health. It’s clear that fatigue after quitting alcohol is common and that there are very specific reasons why the body deals with this tiredness as you get sober. The good news is that fatigue caused by dehydration, stress, circadian rhythm issues and even liver damage can all be remedied with time as the body relearns how to operate and deal with life sober. However, that doesn’t mean you just have to endure the tiredness in the meantime.

brain fog after quitting drinking

You might have heard people comparing your brain to a computer, but the truth is a lot more complicated than that. You’re unmotivated, it’s difficult to remember important information, and your mind is taking every opportunity to drift. They think it has something to do with how fast or slow your brain adapts during recovery.

What else happens to your body after you stop drinking?

Your experience should be similar, and you can always ask the staff at the treatment center if your challenges with thinking are normal. That could be because they didn’t have normal sleep patterns to begin with. Daily drinking can cause disruptions in sleep as well, so quitting suddenly can be a shock to the system. After six days of sobriety, these people report vastly different experiences with sleep and other alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Your habits before you came to the treatment center can also contribute to brain fog.

  • However, that doesn’t mean you just have to endure the tiredness in the meantime.
  • When you first quit drinking, the lack of dopamine and diminished receptors can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
  • It’s important to note that it’s best to start a healthy withdrawal program under the supervision of a medical professional.
  • This is because alcohol withdrawal brain fog can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
  • “I feel good today but was very irritable last night. My clothes are fitting better, and my face isn’t as puffy.”

Alcohol-related brain fog can generally last several days to weeks after quitting drinking. You must prioritize self-care and engage in healthy habits to support cognitive function during this time. It’s important to note that not all individuals who quit drinking will experience all of these symptoms or even brain fog. However, those who do may find these symptoms significantly impacting their daily lives. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of alcohol-related brain fog, seeking help and support from a qualified healthcare professional is vital.

Advantages of 10 Days of Abstinence

Alcohol wipes out the deep sleep we need to feel refreshed, which can leave you feeling tired during the day. This is due to dead neurons that alcohol kills in the process of methanol poisoning. Alcohol also steals your sleep by triggering snoring, disrupting REM sleep patterns, or keeping you from falling into a sound slumber.

“First of all, the adolescent brain is still undergoing several maturational processes that render it more vulnerable to some of the effects of substances,” Tapert says. The red specks highlight where the integrity of the alcohol brain fog brain’s white matter is significantly less in the teens who binge drink, compared to those who do not. It can lead to cognitive impairments such as memory loss, poor concentration, and difficulty with decision-making.

Dopamine Levels Begin to Normalize

Inpatient treatment, or staying at a hospital or care facility, may be necessary for someone with moderate to severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Inpatient treatment allows healthcare professionals to monitor you for DT or hallucinations, monitor your vitals, and administer fluids or medicine intravenously if needed. People experiencing mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms often receive outpatient care—meaning there is no extended time spent in a hospital or facility.

  • Clinical assessments revealed that women had higher mood scores than their male counterparts during early sobriety.
  • This can make it difficult to concentrate, remember names, or focus, and you may feel mentally fatigued.
  • It is vital to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
  • This alcohol and brain damage slows down communication between our neurons because it impedes the production of new proteins, which are key components for healthy neural communication.
  • Find out more about FHE Health’s medically supervised alcohol detox program and how we can help you take the first step toward a healthier, sober lifestyle when you contact us today.
  • She specializes in a variety of health topics including mental health, dementia, celiac disease, and endometriosis.


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