Zopiclone and Quitting Alcohol – Everything You Need To Know

November 21, 2023

Taking steps towards an alcohol-free life is a decision you willl NEVER regret.

If you are not already alcohol-free, congratulations on considering this lifestyle and reading this page!

For anyone who has used alcohol to excess really, there can be some common withdrawal symptons. Common ones that many of us will experience. These could be physical or mental symptons such as nausea or mood swings.

One of the more commin symptoms that people experience is sleep problems.

Sleep problems present themselves in two broad areas if difficult

  • difficulty getting to sleep
  • difficult staying asleep.

When you decide to embark on the journey of sobriety, often you may consider using sleeping tablets to aid your recovery.

A common approach, and one that is often prescribed by medics across the land.

Again, a common go-to sleeping medication is Zopiclone. For this reason, I thought it would be a good idea to look at what Zopicone is, and how it may (or may not!) work for you on your own sobriety.

I have also had personal experience of using Zopiclone, and have my own views which I will air as we go along!

What is zopiclone?

Zopiclone is a medication that is used to treat insomnia. It is often a go-to medication for people who are quitting alcohol, and struggling with sleep.

Zopiclone belongs to a class of drugs known as ‘non-benzodiazepine hypnotics’ and helps individuals to fall asleep faster and reduces instances of waking up during the night, improving overall sleep duration and quality.

Zopiclone works by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps to calm the central nervous system and induce sleep.

The guidance states that Zopiclone is usually taken on a short-term basis, for no longer than 4 weeks, as long-term use can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Common side effects of zopiclone may include a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, and dry mouth. More serious side effects, although rare, can include allergic reactions, abnormal behaviors such as sleepwalking or hallucinations, and memory loss. It is important to use zopiclone under the close supervision of a healthcare professional and to follow their instructions for use.
As with any medication, zopiclone may not be suitable for everyone and can interact with other drugs or medical conditions. Before using zopiclone, it is important to discuss any existing health conditions or medications with a doctor or pharmacist to ensure its safety and effectiveness.
In conclusion, zopiclone is a medication used to treat insomnia by helping individuals fall asleep faster and improve the quality and duration of sleep. However, it should be used cautiously and under the guidance of a healthcare professional to minimize potential risks and side effects. 

Sleeping Pills and Quitting Alcohol

Quitting alcohol can often lead to sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia and many people who have chosen the path of sobriety can certainly vouch for this!

In such cases, individuals may consider taking zopiclone to help them sleep better. However, it is important to follow the recommended dose of zopiclone as prescribed by a healthcare professional to avoid potential risks and side effects. It is also crucial to consult a healthcare provider before combining zopiclone with alcohol or any other substances. Mixing sleeping pills with alcohol can have dangerous and even life-threatening consequences, as both substances can depress the central nervous system and lead to severe respiratory depression.
Instead of using medication to manage sleeping difficulties during alcohol withdrawal, individuals are encouraged to seek alternative methods to promote better sleep, such as establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding caffeine and electronic devices before bedtime. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques can also be effective in improving sleep quality without the need for medication.
Furthermore, addressing the underlying causes of sleep disturbances, such as anxiety or stress related to alcohol cessation, is essential for long-term sleep improvement. Seeking support from a healthcare professional or a support group can provide guidance and assistance in managing both alcohol withdrawal and sleep difficulties.
In conclusion, while sleeping pills may seem like a quick solution for sleep problems during alcohol withdrawal, it is important to use them cautiously and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Combining sleeping pills with alcohol is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Instead, individuals should explore alternative strategies to improve sleep quality and address the root causes of their sleep disturbances. 

Link Between Alcohol Use and Sleep Issues

the link between drinking and sleep is a long-acknowledged issue. Drink affects sleep – short-term and further down the line. Chronic alcohol use can significantly disrupt normal sleep patterns, leading to poor sleep and other sleep-related problems.

Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of sleepwalking and cause drowsiness during the day, impacting overall productivity and well-being. The link between excessive alcohol intake and sleep issues is strong!

While alcohol may initially act seem to actually help you sleep, it can disrupt the natural sleep cycle and prevent the body from entering the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep.

This low-quality, fragmented or poor-quality sleep, then leads to feelings of fatigue and grogginess upon waking.

  • Apnea – by relaxing the muscles in the throat and causing breathing difficulties during the night.
  • increase the likelihood of experiencing night sweats and disrupted sleep due to the body’s efforts to metabolize the alcohol.
  • Disruption of the body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle. This can lead to difficulty falling or staying asleep at the appropriate times, as well as increased daytime sleepiness and impaired cognitive function

In addition to these direct physiological effects, alcohol abuse can also contribute to mental health issues that impact sleep, such as anxiety and depression.

These conditions can further disrupt sleep patterns and create a cycle of drinking to self-medicate sleep problems.
Overall, the relationship between drink and sleep issues is bidirectional, with each influencing the other in a detrimental cycle. Addressing alcohol issues and establishing healthy sleep habits are essential for improving overall sleep quality and promoting overall well-being. 

Guidance On Using Zopiclone To Quit Alcohol

When using zopiclone to quit alcohol, it’s essential to seek guidance from a healthcare provider. They can provide professional insight on the safe use of zopiclone and how it can effectively address insomnia and other sleep issues associated with alcohol withdrawal.

Here are some general guidelines for using zopiclone to quit alcohol:
1. Consult a Healthcare Provider: Before using zopiclone, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider who can assess your individual situation and provide personalized recommendations. They can also determine the appropriate dosage and duration of treatment based on your specific needs.
2. Follow Prescribed Dosage: It’s crucial to take zopiclone exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or use it for a longer period than advised. Misuse of zopiclone can lead to dependence and other adverse effects.
3. Use as Directed: Zopiclone is typically prescribed for short-term use, usually no longer than 2-4 weeks, to address sleep disturbances during alcohol withdrawal. It’s important to follow the prescribed treatment plan and not continue using zopiclone beyond the recommended duration.
4. Avoid Alcohol: While using zopiclone to quit alcohol, it’s important to avoid consuming alcohol entirely. Combining zopiclone with alcohol can lead to dangerous side effects and complications.
5. Monitor Effects: Pay attention to how zopiclone affects your sleep and overall well-being. If you experience any concerning side effects or changes in sleep patterns, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider promptly.
6. Seek Support: In addition to using zopiclone, it’s essential to seek support for quitting alcohol, such as counseling, support groups, or other forms of therapy. Addressing the underlying reasons for alcohol use and developing healthy coping mechanisms is crucial for long-term recovery.
7. Gradual Tapering: When discontinuing zopiclone, it’s important to do so gradually under the guidance of a healthcare provider to minimize withdrawal symptoms and potential rebound insomnia.
Overall, using zopiclone to quit alcohol should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both sleep disturbances and alcohol dependence. It’s important to work closely with a healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective use of zopiclone in this context. 

The Dangers of Mixing Sleeping Pills and Alcohol

It is crucial to avoid mixing zopiclone or any other sleeping pills with alcohol, as it can result in serious side effects and impairment. Combining alcohol with sleeping pills can lead to increased dizziness, sedative effects, and may even result in an overdose. Therefore, it’s important to refrain from consuming alcohol while taking zopiclone or any other sleep aids.

When alcohol is mixed with zopiclone, it can enhance the sedative effects of the medication, resulting in excessive drowsiness, confusion, and impaired motor coordination. This can increase the risk of accidents and falls, especially in older adults. Additionally, the combination of these substances can lead to slowed breathing and heart rate, which can be life-threatening.
Moreover, both alcohol and zopiclone are metabolized in the liver, and combining them can put a heavy strain on the liver, potentially leading to liver damage or failure. This is especially concerning for individuals who already have liver problems or conditions.
Furthermore, the combination of alcohol and zopiclone can also increase the risk of developing addictive behaviors and substance abuse. Both substances have the potential for abuse and addiction, and combining them can exacerbate these risks

In conclusion, mixing zopiclone or any other sleeping pills with alcohol can have severe consequences, including increased sedation, impaired functioning, respiratory depression, liver damage, and addiction. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional before consuming any medication, and to strictly adhere to their guidance regarding alcohol consumption while taking sleep aids.

The potential dangers of mixing these substances should not be taken lightly, and it is crucial to prioritize safety and avoid the risks associated with their combination. 

From an addiction aspect, choosing the short-term fix for the long-term goals of sobriety….sleeping pills are to be used with extreme caution.

Zopiclone and Alcohol Frequently Asked Questions – Quick Reference

Q: What is zopiclone and how does it relate to alcohol?

A: Zopiclone is a medication used for treating insomnia, commonly known as a sleeping pill. It should not be mixed with alcohol as it can lead to dangerous side effects and impairment.

Q: Can I take zopiclone if I have been drinking alcohol?

A: It is not recommended to take zopiclone if you have been consuming alcohol. The combination can result in experiencing some negative side-effects. 

Q: What are the side effects of zopiclone?

A: The common side effects of zopiclone include a metallic taste in the mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. However, combining it with alcohol can amplify these effects and lead to more serious complications.

Q: What are the risks of overdosing on zopiclone when mixed with alcohol?

A: Mixing zopiclone with alcohol can increase the risk of overdose, potentially leading to severe respiratory depression, coma, or even death. It is crucial to avoid combining these substances.

Q: Is it safe to mix alcohol with other sleep aids besides zopiclone?

A: No, it is generally unsafe to drink with any sleep aids or medications designed to promote sleep. Doing so can lead to adverse reactions, impairment, and other serious health risks.

Q: Can zopiclone be compared to benzodiazepines in terms of its effects when mixed with alcohol?

A: Zopiclone shares similar effects with benzodiazepines when combined with alcohol, causing heightened sedation, impaired motor coordination, and an increased risk of overdose.

Q: What are the dangers of mixing sleeping pills and alcohol?

A: Using and sleeping pills together can result in severe impairment, potential respiratory depression, and an elevated risk of accidental injury or death. It is crucial to avoid this combination.

Q: Is it ever safe to mix alcohol with zopiclone or other sleeping pills?

A: No, it is never safe to mix alcohol with zopiclone or any other sleeping pills. Doing so can lead to serious adverse effects, including a higher risk of addiction, dependence, and overdose.

Q: How much zopiclone is considered too much when combined with alcohol?

A: Any amount of zopiclone combined with alcohol beyond the prescribed dosage is considered too much. Exceeding the recommended intake can lead to dangerous consequences and should be avoided at all costs.

Q: What should I do if I have been drinking alcohol while taking zopiclone?

A: If you have consumed alcohol while taking zopiclone, it is essential to seek medical advice immediately. Even small amounts of alcohol can interact with zopiclone and lead to harmful effects on your health.

Embrace The Alcohol-Free Lifestyle

Embrace The Alcohol-Free Lifestyle Alcohol has long been a big player in many social gathering and event in current times. It is often seen as a way to unwind, relax, and have a good time. However, there is a growing movement towards embracing an alcohol-free...

The 3 Stages Of Alcoholism

Contents We hear the term alcoholic and alcoholism banded around quite a lot in society.    Whether there is a moral discussion around the term or not, let's leave that for another day.  For now, we must accept what society recognises as a term for...

Free Sobriety Planner

Free Sobriety Planner 🚀 Welcome to Your Alcohol-Free Adventure with "The Alcohol Off Switch" Sobriety Planner! 🎉 You are now on the path to a healthier, Well done you!! If you've found your way here, you're already on your way to smashing this drinking lark in. Say...

Related Posts

Dreaming About Alcohol Relapse – What Does It Mean?

Dreaming About Alcohol Relapse – What Does It Mean?

There we are - all well along on our sober journey. Feeling the benefits, reaping the rewards. Facing challenges that an alcohol-free life can throw at you. But smashing them head on. Dreams, as we know, can get pretty intense when we ditch the booze. Often 'too...

read more
Social Drinker – Or On The Way To Problem Drinking?

Social Drinker – Or On The Way To Problem Drinking?

I am a social drinker. I was a social drinker. I kind of stopped being that type of social drinker. I am sure you can relate. It just happens. On the outside, it is just having a drink, then a few more, then as time and life goes on...a bit more regularly for you....

read more
Embrace The Alcohol-Free Lifestyle

Embrace The Alcohol-Free Lifestyle

Embrace The Alcohol-Free Lifestyle Alcohol has long been a big player in many social gathering and event in current times. It is often seen as a way to unwind, relax, and have a good time. However, there is a growing movement towards embracing an alcohol-free...

read more

About the Author

The Alcohol Off Switch