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A 38-year-old member asked:

How does alcohol interrupt sleep and can alcohol cause people to hallucinate?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Leonard Spishakoff
Specializes in Addiction Medicine
Gaba and glutamate: Sleep is affected by dysregulation of GABA and glutamate receptors, in a person who is withdrawing glutamate is reactivated. Glutamate is excitatory which yields to hallucinations etc thru not only glutamate but other receptors as well . Downregluation of GABA also affects the sleep cycle.
Dr. Alan Wartenberg
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Several ways: Alcohol can produce sleep by its sedative effect, but it wears off quickly, causing a "rebound" with increased wakefulness a few hours later. While it increases deep sleep (just as most sleeping pills do), it reduces rem sleep, which is when we dream. If people drink a lot to stay asleep, they may get "rem rebound" which can cause daytime awake dreams, similar to hallucinations.
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Specializes in Endocrinology
great answer!
Nov 3, 2012

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