Day 5 and wow…side effects of not drinking?!

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  • #13855


    So it’s not like I’m a huge drinker…only a bottle of wine a night (haha). I thought I’d be sleeping better and energized immediately. But the first three nights I was drenched in sweat, and had weird dream after weird dream. I’m tired too…like 2pm ready to put my head down on my desk because I can’t keep my eyes open tired. Yesterday I was craving something sweet…I never do that. Today…now actually…I have a brutal headache. I only get those after a night of drinking without remembering to hydrate.

    What gives?? Apparently this is what happens when excessive drinkers stop drinking. Which was a scary realization for me. If it takes my body 5 days or more (fingers crossed just 5!) to get these toxins out of my system and get my body comfortable being without them then I clearly underestimated just how much of a problem alcohol is for me. I used to rationalize that it couldn’t be that bad because I could go a day or two without withdrawal symptoms like shakes or vomiting…that’s what the true alcoholics get.

    But here I am…feeling like crap but this ah ha moment makes me more determined to finish this program.

    I wish the best to all the rest of you day fivers out there. I’m ready to make it through day 6!

  • #13873


    Hi there! I am on day 5 too and also had those side effects. It started with not being able to sleep on day 1, then shakes day 2 and headache day 3. The last 2 nights I have had vivid dreams. But today I feel amazing! First time in a long time I feel truly happy to just be out and about and not tied to alcohol consuming my every thought and dictating my plans. Keep up the good work:)

  • #13877


    Good for you for being on Day 5…. am behind you by five days 🙂 — but will catch up and report if there are any similar issues. Thanks for putting that out there so the rest of us know what to possibly expect. Things can only get better, right?

  • #13903


    Dianeucla, today is day 7 and I feel great! Hope you’re finishing up phase one today with me!

    Pages_0075, things DID only get better! Good luck on day 1!

  • #13945


    Hi folks who are newly experiencing the effects of cessation of drinking!
    Your sleep patterns may be disrupted for some time. Some heavy drinkers (a bottle of wine or more ) even up to a month. Remember that passing out isn’t sleep as a healthy brain enjoys. Take this as a sign that the normal pleasure receptors are restabilizing. Dopamine, serotonin, and other chemicals responsible for keeping you on an even keel have been unnaturally over stimulated by alcohol for a long time. The transition, however uncomfortable, is worth every lost moment of sleep. Hang in and your reward will be a better life for the years any of us has left! Sina

    • #17985


      Glad I read this.. I’ve been wondering why I can’t sleep. I thought I would sleep better. Thanks for explaining! I guess it does take up to 10 days to detox. So far no headache.
      Looks like Day 5 will be a success..onward to 6!

  • #13998


    I can relate to some of your side effects for sure! The dreaming is BIG, so vivid! I used to get very tired in the afternoons but I’m sleeping more now, usually 9 hours when I can. The sweets are a problem for me but I’m letting that one slide for now anyways. I’ve been sober for 27 days and working on day 10 of the book and things are definitely improving, especially the evening cravings.
    Good luck, this book is a lot of work but so far it’s been my best resource!

  • #14031


    Headaches in the morning- oh yes. Day 4 and again today on Day 5. I used to wake up every morning with a headache after drinking. Now the headaches are different somehow and brief. After I get up and start my morning routine they go away. But I sure was surprised to see them with abstinence. It is encouraging to hear I’m not alone with this.

  • #14033


    Hang in there,

    I am on day 7 today and yesterday was the absolute worst, I had alot of problems come up at work, alot of stress and got so angry I started yelling at a co-worker.

    But today I feel really good and really calm and I feel like day 7 is the magic day where you are thru the “worst of it” so hang in there, you are almost out of the storm.

    And make sure you stay hydrated, people. Water with a lemon squeezed into it really helps move the detox along much faster.

  • #14035


    Great advice on the hydration @fc321 – feel that it helps a lot (perhaps not with stupid coworkers, but with the detoxing of the body). Find that tea helps too. Was feeling pretty good, and smug, until Day 5, then felt a little wonky. Think it’s just your body protesting or something, but it will get over it. Am on Day 5 of the book and Day 6 of no wine. Also had what I consider a mini-breakthrough last night. Went out to dinner with friends and wasn’t tempted to order wine. Usually after dinner, where my husband and I would normally share wine #1, we’d more than likely come home and open another. Last night at about 8:30 p.m it dawned on me that it, in fact, had not even crossed my mind to open wine. Not once did I feel like something was missing or I was missing out. Know that might sound a bit like “big deal” to most, but if you knew how much wine we went through in a week it turns into a ‘wow’ moment. What we were uncorking was always first and foremost on my mind as little as a week ago. Just pushing to keep this up.

  • #14206


    Thank you for posting about headaches! I was getting worried, I’m on day 5, my 4th day sober, the longest I’ve gone in over a year. Prior to that I was kept “in check” by my husband but kept on binge drinking on weekends. We divorced May last year that’s when the heavy drinking began for real. Never went more than perhaps 2 days a week without at least 1 bottle of wine, most often 2. I was able to keep up my job even though I HATED it! Anyway, I’m fine, happy and relieved being sober! But, the last couple of days I’ve been having these headaches, especially late afternoon into the evening. I drink lots of water, to the point I had to get up 3 times last night! So, dehyrdration probably isn’t the issue. No, more likely the toxins leaving my body, getting used to going without. Also, I have such difficulties going to sleep. Have had troubles all my life, even as a child. Wine was my solution to that. Now I will have to find solutions to relax and go to sleep normally, I don’t want to get hooked on sleeping pills even though I do take one from time to time. Keep up the good work everyone! Cheers Maria

    • #14210


      Welcome sunlight/Maria! Congratulations on your continuing Sobriety. In addition to keeping hydrated, headaches can also happen as a result of low blood sugar. Alcohol is essentially just that, so make sure you keep eating through the day and avoid crashes that can happen if you imbibe a lot of coffee or sugar, spiking blood sugar. Stay strong! Sina

      • #17829


        I use an app called insight timer. It is a meditation app. I look up sleep meditations and it really helps me get to sleep. They have one that is called stillness that is just music that I often use.

  • #15874


    So glad I found this thread! I’m day 6 sober, day 5 of the program, and feel like something the cat dragged in, or in our house, something the dogs dug up. Here it is Friday, the day I’ve been dreading, and instead of drinking, all I really want is to crawl in bed. Who knew being sick, or maybe in the throes of detox, would feel like such a gift 🙂

  • #17826


    Same here day 5 groggy, headache, sweaty at night, I’m drinking lots of water and I had never listened to meditation to sleep on youtube before, but the time travel on day one gave me the idea because of the meditating nature of it and I’m falling asleep better than I ever have when I have taken a day or two break in the past. made it, Day 5!!

    • #18318


      Yup, so tired this morning beginning day 5 and a bit of night sweats last night, but committed to get to 30! Teary eyed all day too. Thanks for sharing everyone, it helps; doing this solo.

  • #17892


    Same thing, headache, sweating. I’m not certain whether it is due to weather changing,as I am prone to migraines​. Nice to know I’m not alone

    • #17893


      `don’t cave. @dogglover! It’s to be expected. You are definitely not alone!! Onward, Sina

  • #18080


    Today my side effect is depression, which is a drag considering Day 5 is all about learning to and choosing to believe in myself. I can believe in myself in every other area of life but this quitting drinking and staying sober is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do in my life.

    But it is Day 5 and here I am, still working the program and for that, I am grateful.

  • #18316


    Hi, I too am/was a bottle per night wine drinker, plus more at times, and had concerns about stopping. I’m on day 5 now and have had almost no side effects. I thought at least I would be shaking or sweating, but I seem to be okay. I’m surprised…. but happy. Ready to go another day, or hopefully more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • #18519


    I’m on Day 2. Did not sleep well at all last night. I’m at work now, it’s 2 pm and I’m DRAINED. Flu symptoms almost with fuzzy low grade headache. No shakes yet but I’m really nervous. I was a 2 martini a night person for well over a year. Used to do 2 martinis and then a couple of glasses on wine, but I stopped the wine. Maybe I should go to 1 martini a night and taper to every other… I really want to quit cold turkey though. What an eye opener! Quitting anytime I want is not that easy at all.

    I did sweat all last night and I too am post menopause, so it must be detox. I’m staying hydrated and praying I won’t get any worse than this!! I’m really nervous. Thank goodness for this post!

  • #18798


    Wow I am so glad to read this. Im just jitters and nerves tonight. Im going for a walk…And not to the bar…… may be exercise will help. Good luck all!

  • #19921


    I have been retaining a lot of water – even my face looks puffy. I’m hoping it goes away soon!

  • #19928


    Melatonin can really help you get to sleep in a safe and non-addictive way. And Sleepytime Tea 🙂
    Hot baths, as well, and Epsom salts feel so good.

  • #20207


    So glad I read your posts tonight at the end of day 5. I haven’t posted yet, but I’m struggling and so close to giving in. Mood is low, headaches, anxiety and wanting to give in and drink. I know it was the way I coped before, so have to try ignore it and keep on reading the book, which is great! Makes you feel normal when you hear others in the same boat, so keep strong everyone.

  • #20635


    I too am glad you posted about this. I will check in on this post every day until the withdrawals subside. So far just anxiety – a bit during the day but it ramped up just now at night. I just popped some “Calming Sleep Formula – L-Theanine, 5-HTP & Melatonin” from TJs.

  • #118883


    I’m really excited about today!

    Today is day 5 without a drink. My mind is clearing and I feel great physically today. No aches, no headache. I spent the first few days feeling very disoriented. Almost walked out of the house without my glasses. Got confused trying to get ready for work. Felt like I might hyperventilate or pass out at work. Was a pretty ugly person to be around and basically felt like I had been beaten up.

    I still have not slept through the night successfully. But, that’s OK. I’ve been going to bed early to give myself time to get enough rest even if I do spend time awake. I have several guided meditations that I listen to. I listen to Sleep Stories on Calm. I listen to a recording of the sound of the wind blowing through a wheat field. And I rest calmly if I am awake at night. I thought I would sleep late this morning but I woke up at 5:30 just like the weekdays.

    This Saturday morning is the beginning of the first weekend that I will not spend drinking all day in ages! My normal practice is to have a cup of coffee and then pour a glass of wine around 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. Then I just basically sip all day and wake up the next morning trying to remember what happened the night before. It’s rarely anything particularly awful. My husband drinks too. But, it’s very limiting. And I don’t accomplish a lot of what I set out to do because I eventually just sit down and do nothing.

    Today will be different. I feel like the possibilities are limitless. So happy I stopped on Tuesday so that I can feel good enough to really enjoy today. Happy Saturday, ya’ll!

  • #118962


    Hey Just_Margie,
    I hope you had a wonderful Saturday…and Sunday. I felt compelled to tell you “Good job!!!” I’m personally on day 6 now of the program, but day two of no drinking. My crutch was a nightly drink to the point of nearly passing out. More of a binge thing. But enough that I found it to be a problem because I lost motivation the next day. Then I would drink that night so I wouldn’t have to think about how disappointed I was in myself. Your post has inspired and motivated me to keep moving forward one day at a time. Thank you! And keep up the good work! 🙂

    • #118977


      elizabeth69, thank for the encouragement! I hope you aren’t feeling too bad physically. Even if you are, just pamper yourself and hang in there. Dark chocolate is good if you like that. And I made myself some fruited ice cubes (black cherries, grapes, apricot, ginger & mint in some sugar water) that I put in La Croix grapefruit sparkling water. So delicious from a pretty glass. Anything to give yourself a little something special you deserve for your hard work. Hang in there!! I stopped drinking on the first day of the program so I’m day seven today. Really glad! My weekend went great considering. I’m still moody and waking up all night every couple of hours. But, I’m just trying not to worry about it. It will be different as time goes on. So, as long as I don’t strangle anyone with my bare hands, everything should be fine!! (Just joking, of course!) Best of everything to you!

  • #119058


    I’m happy to be following along behind just_margie and elizabeth69.. Day 5 here. It’s a Saturday (I too quit on a Tuesday) and I’m looking forward to the weekend with my (naturally teetotaling) husband. I’m sleeping better than I have in about a year – hip replacement on April 30 meant I had pain meds *and* wine to “help” me sleep. None of that now, and I’m sleeping through the night. just_margie: I really hope you get there too!!

    My biggest side effect seems to be the sugar cravings! Good lord, I went through half a bag of Tootsie Pops yesterday – left over from Halloween! (yes it’s June now). That, and I am getting a lot of work done! My adviser is going to be bowled over when he gets back from vacation in a couple weeks.

  • #119060


    I don’t know if you work out, but on day five I started to run just to break a sweat. Only made it one mile but working out does reset the body & mind a bit.

  • #120941


    I too am tracking and recording the side-effects of abstaining from alcohol. To give you some context, after a lifetime of heavy, social drinker, I had become a daily drinker for the last 18 months; I was drinking 50-75 units of alcohol a week by my reckoning.

    I too relate to the feeling of sleepiness, but in a good way. I actually feel like going to sleep at a time normal people usually would, and my drowsiness feels normal for once instead of a drugged feeling when too drunk. I too have had a few nights of vivid, relentless dreams–one after another after another. I felt like I ran a mental obstacle course for the entire night. That was notable.

    I’ve rediscovered my childhood love for ice-cream when I stopped drinking, so I relate to the craving for something sweet. All these are interesting to observe, but I a feel so much better in general. Energy levels are fine. I am so much more at peace as my baseline emotion than I was just a week ago when drinking.

    I hope you feel the positive effects too soon.

  • #121089


    I am grateful for all the posts, and encouraged to keep going. I am humbled by your stories and challenges, openness, honesty — the forum really helps me work through some of my personal struggles. Thank you.

  • #121092


    Feeling great on day 5. My husband has finally got the message not to keep trying to get me to drink wine and he even agreed not to buy any while I’m doing this. He continues to drink but he buys stuff like Scotch which I hate so it’s not temptation! I’m finally able to look at the amount I was drinking and what it was doing to my motivation and health from an objective perspective. When you live with another heavy drinker, it’s easy to use them for confirmation bias! Feeling like I can do this!

    • #121098


      Okay, I’m on day 5 and still haven’t quit drinking. My husband and I have built our lives around drinking wine… a glass or two before bed on weekdays, but drinking all day on weekends. He’s not on board, so it’s so hard to do this. Any ideas? I’m going to the grocery store this morning and am not going to buy wine.
      I know I won’t sleep without wine. On weeknights when we don’t drink as much, I don’t sleep well.

      • #121106


        jmajamie53 I thought I wouldn’t sleep either. I’m sure you have heard the facts that drinking actually harms your sleep. I would fall asleep/pass out just fine every night and a two-four am would wake and find my mind racing only to finally fall back to sleep just before the alarm.
        Meditation has worked for me. I keep a cd player and head phones on my phone by my bed. When I do find myself winding up in my mind, whether it is at first to settle down or in the middle of the night to go back to sleep, I pop on a short meditation and away to sleep I go.
        There are many sleep meditations out there, and so many other techniques that I have not even touched on. You can find one that works for you, your body will need that sleep, and will allow it and learn to crave it in a natural way soon. Just try it for a while and see what a miracle your body and mind can be when you set it free from alcohol. You can do this! 🙂

  • #121469


    I am on day five of the program and my sleep has really sucked! I was a bottle of wine a night drinker to help me sleep and a binge drinker on the weekends. I started back at the gym on Monday and that has definitely helped with my mood and feeling of accomplishment.

  • #121642


    It is Day 5 for me and I am struggling with cravings for wine! It is Friday, and I have been helping a friend pack moving boxes all week, so I really want to reward myself with wine! Until 5 days ago, I had been drinking 1-2 bottles of wine per day, for so many years that I cannot remember.
    As others have reported, my sleep has been awful, night sweating, and wild, vivid dreams about people that I know.
    I wonder why the book or the website does not address these type of struggles within the first week.

    • #121660


      Day 5 of both the program and not drinking for me. Also had incredibly weird dreams the first 2 nights but better now. My biggest issue at the moment is being so incredibly tired! And also feeling very impatient and generally more irritable than usual. Hoping day 7 is the magic turn around!

  • #122322


    Hot here today, I feel like I am going to pass out, day 5. Nearly had a drink day 3, but the liquor store was closed, and by the time I got home I decided not to, there was not a lot there. Feel like crap frankly. I did find I feel better on an elliptical machine, not breaking records, but moving, so will keep upright and moving as much as possible in this heat. This s my first visit and my first post, I found this by googling day 5 without drinking, feel like crap.

  • #122335


    Day 5 program and day 7 AF. Slight headache and coated tongue but I am not dehydrated. Drinking mainly water and iced tea. Mood is kind of flat. BP 115/75 way down from 200 ranges. I believe I’m detoxifying. Staying the course.

  • #122345


    Day 5 for me. I’m glad I read this thread. So for me it’s night sweats, vivid dreams about folks I know, but I wake up feeling hopeful for what the day holds. Drinking lots of herb teas and EATING LOTS OF SWEETS! I am not so panicked about this as I run 5 times a week .. I just have to let that new habit ride. It’s Friday night, the night I would usually start drinking with my husband, for the weekend. That turns into a weekend binge during which I operate in a fugue state, and that’s at my best. I don’t often drink Monday to Thursday as I work away from home and share a house with someone who doesn’t have alcohol in the house so that’s helped a lot. It’s really set the basis for starting 30DSS. This morning I opened up to her about my drinking issue, and I showed her the book. She was very supportive and I found, has exactly the same drink problem that I do that is, binge drinking and drinking to oblivion when she drinks. Neither or us can moderate. So I am in this thing to stop altogether. I know cutting down will not work for me. I only hope I don’t spend the rest of my life redoing the 30 days over and over, that one lap around the total abstinence block will be enough. But that is totally my choice.

  • #122351


    Ha ha! Ack! All this sweetness craving! Glad I am not the only one. Though now I am worried about a sugar addiction! But perhaps I will re-do the book after this 30 days and 2nd time, replace the words “alcohol” with “sugar”? I am on day 6 no alcohol and was cranky all day and then had a good rant and rage at the vacuum… Also I remembered an exercise someone taught me to push on a wall and yell “NO!”. That also helped. Grateful for all the sharing! 🙂

  • #122434


    I’m glad I’m reading this today. I’m on day 17 off the wine and day 5 in the book. I find I am incredibly tired most of the time and was wondering if this level of tiredness could even be possible after 17 days alcohol free. Was starting to believe I had a serious health issue like cancer or similar. I had no idea what sort of physical symptoms to expect. Glad I read this post.

  • #122562


    Day 5 and I am finding my anxiety has increased and my “discombobulation” also seems to be a bit more evident. Sleeping is disrupted somewhat but sleep has always been an issue for me. I pray that my mind “stabilizes” soon. I CAN do this!

    • #122566


      I am on day 15 of sobriety. WHOO-HOO! I have a friend who had quit drinking for about 4 days only. She told me that I wouldn’t sleep. For years I have not slept through the night (whiskey wake-up?) Many nights I have taken Benadryl to go back to sleep; it is non addicting and does the trick. But if you wake up in the middle of the night, you will need a good 4 hours so you won’t wake up still sleepy.
      For the first 3 nights of sobriety I took a benadryl before bed and slept like a baby. Then I decided that I was going to see if I could sleep through the night with nothing.
      I have slept all further nights, all night long, with no wake ups and no sleep aid. This is the first time I have slept well for years and years.
      I will admit to the powerful dreams. And I had the same thing when I quit smoking, so it must be the toxins leaving my body. So just hang in there.
      I am very grateful for the program.

  • #122573


    Day-5 of the program and 3 days alcohol free. My alcohol was beer (never liked the wine or hard drinks), usually not going for more a day or two before returning to the pub or drinking in my man-cave while watching tv. Usually no more than 88 oz IPAs or equivalent. But my wife quit 2 years ago (beer/wine), and when sober you know what its like to be around someone that is drinking (they stink, slur, aren’t all that funny/amusing on a regular basis). On top of that her cancer returned 8 mos ago (now considered stage-4). I started this program to improve our relationship and appreciate all of our time together.
    I go to the gym everyday as I had b4 starting this and maybe that is helping me deal with the abstinence better as I haven’t really felt the side-effects described in this post. But everyone’s story is different.

    Anyway, I did have one question for the forum. I bought some non-alcoholic beer today (~$10 for a 12-pack of Sharps), had a couple. Then got to thinking that I know I was cheating on the abstinence, but it still felt like I needed to ask others. Also, thinking I might reserve the NA beers for the pub/restaurants as a 12-pack of diet soda is half the cost! 🙂


  • #122640


    Yes, all of the above. I just want to post to show my support to everyone posting here and my appreciation for this thread. It certainly chimes true with me along with that sort of ‘do I really have a problem? I don’t drink as much as x or y…’ Dialogue which is totally all about justifying my drinking. Well, I too am really tired. It’s so timely for me to read these posts as the dialogue nagging me now is the one about how drinking will relax me and give me a good night sleep. Which it really does on the odd occasion but I’m past that bs now. I get that random good night sleep on the back of weeks of tiredness and it rarely works in truth. I spent a long time today working on the day 4 stuff too so maybe that is tiring me.

  • #122867


    I haven’t felt this good, relaxed and ready to face a day in a long time. Less stress and more drive. Would have liked to have gotten up earlier, but nothing wrong with a bit of extra good sleep!

  • #15151


    Elizabeth b you are correct about how alcohol has suppressed so much of what we truly need to process . That is what the 30DSS book and the Companion Website are here for.
    Strap in tight,,,,the Sober Coaster is taking off! Onward !!! Sina

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