Sobriety fatigue is a common consequence of someone getting sober, and depending on several factors, it can affect people for weeks and even months after they first stop drinking.

After completing alcohol rehab or successfully stopping drinking alone, you may think that the journey is over. This is not the case. Recovery is a journey, and the hard work begins after you leave alcohol behind. If you are worried about suffering from fatigue after quitting drinking, then knowing what sobriety fatigue is, the symptoms and how to manage it can help you be prepared.


Why Do I Feel Tired After Quitting Alcohol?

In the body, alcohol can be broken down into acetate by the liver. The brain can use acetate instead of glucose as an energy source. If you have an alcohol addiction, your acetate levels will remain elevated. Acetate can also be turned into adenosine, which has sedative properties that make alcohol a depressive.

After an alcohol detox, your body will become deprived of an energy source, going into withdrawal. To double up on that, your body won’t have as much adenosine in it as before – which promotes sleep and relaxation. These two things combined will cause alcohol exhaustion.

Alcohol withdrawal and tiredness are also closely related. Going into withdrawal from alcohol will cause stress, chemical imbalances in your body and anxiety. As your body seeks to cope with the changes, none of the symptoms you experience will help with sleep.


What is Sobriety Fatigue?

Sobriety fatigue describes the situation in which a person is often worn out or exhausted both mentally and physically during the first year of recovery.

After suffering from alcohol addiction, you may feel you have to be on constant watch to ensure you don’t relapse. You are making a lot of life changes quickly and learning to work through your dependency. At the same time, your body is recovering from the abuse it has been put under. This can all pile up to create fatigue for you.


Common Signs of Sobriety Fatigue

If you are worried about fatigue from alcohol withdrawal or longer-term sobriety fatigue, you should be aware of the common symptoms.

  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Feeling lethargic more often
  • Trouble concentrating or having memory problems
  • Increased cravings
  • Moodiness or mood swings
  • Low self-esteem
  • Less interest in things you previously enjoyed
  • Increased stress
  • Social withdrawal

If you come against any of these symptoms, it’s important to deal with them. Combating sobriety fatigue is important to relapse prevention and ensuring all the good work you did wasn’t for nothing.

Managing these symptoms can be as simple as taking a step back for a moment. Practice relaxation and breathing techniques to help you de-stress. Reaching out to your support network can also help you as well as staying on track with your recovery goals. And remember to indulge in a bit of self-care – this could be watching your favourite film or going for a walk.


How Long Does Sobriety Fatigue Last For?

If you begin to experience sobriety fatigue, there is no knowing beforehand how long it will last. Many factors can affect how long it lasts – including the length and severity of your addiction, your age and your overall health.

In most instances, sobriety fatigue will last for a couple of weeks but could persist for months and up to a year after getting sober.

When thinking about sobriety fatigue and how long it may last, it’s important to remember that it is a short-term condition that will fade over time. Sticking to your recovery plan is the best way to power through what can be a tough period.


How to Manage Sobriety Fatigue and Achieve Recovery

If you are tired after quitting alcohol, then it may be putting a strain on your life. Being tired all the time is hard to cope with and will affect every aspect of your life. Finding ways to manage sobriety fatigue is critical to achieving long-term recovery.

Try Sticking to a Sleep Schedule as Much as Possible

Getting a better quality of sleep is vital to becoming less tired. You can help gain this by creating and sticking to a sleep schedule. If you persist with going to bed and getting up at a similar time every day, eventually, your body will become used to this.

This process can be made easier by creating a pre-bed routine. Put your phone away an hour before going to bed. Have a bath. Read a book. Repeating this routine will prepare your body for sleep and ensure you are tired by the time your head hits the pillow.

Engage in Exercise

Staying active should be a part of everyone’s routine. You may be tired a lot and not feel like going for a run or playing a sport but exercise is proven to boost energy levels. Even a brisk walk every day will have a positive effect on your body – improving you physically and mentally.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Chronic alcohol use will leave you devoid of many nutrients and vitamins. A balanced diet will help with your energy, encourage the healing processes in your body and make you feel better in general. If this feels like a big change, you can start small, having the odd healthy snack, and then work your way up from there.

Contact a Medical Professional for Help

If you require more than small lifestyle changes, reaching out to a GP should be your next step. They can help you – by passing on information about local support provided for people struggling with alcoholism. Via your GP, you can gain access to free NHS support.

Addiction Treatment at Ocean Recovery

If you need longer-term help, then going to rehab might be the path for you. At Ocean Recovery, we offer expert help, provided by our dedicated staff. You will have access to detox programmes, therapies and a personalised addiction treatment plan created to give you the best chance at achieving long-term recovery.

Attend Outpatient Support Groups

The help you need will not just require physical changes. Emotional fatigue is real and can be helped by talking to others and staying connected. Aftercare support groups exist so that people in recovery have a place to work through struggles together and feel less isolated.


Start Your Recovery Journey Today

So, you have the answer to the question, “How long does sobriety fatigue last?” Alongside that, you should be reassured that it is temporary and being aware of the condition and how it presents itself can go a long way to easing worries.

If you want to know more about sobriety fatigue or have questions about the recovery journey, contact Ocean Recovery today. We are a private drug and alcohol rehab that can give you the help you need. Call now at 0800 8807596.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: January 12, 2024

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.