Will Exercise Help Your Alcoholic Spouse Quit Drinking?
Posted Jun 22 2010 4:13pm
There is hope that exercise can help your alcoholic spouse quit drinking alcohol. A recent circadian rhythm study in hamsters showed that hamsters that “exercised” (more “wheel running” ) drank less alcohol than those restricted from exercise.
Does your alcocholic husband or alcoholic wife go to sleep at all hours of the night and get up at different times during the day? Has your alcoholic spouse lost a routine for both their sleeping habits and eating habits? Bottom line: their alcohol abuse is disrupting their circadian rhythm which can also trigger alcoholic relapse in someone who has been abstinent.
Dr. David Glass, Professor of Biological Sciences came to this conclusion after studying hamsters and “wheel running”. The hamsters that were restricted from “wheel running” drank significantly more alcohol than the “active’ hamsters. The more the “active” hamsters ran, the less they drank.
Exercise stimulates the reward center of the brain (increases dopamine). Drinking alcohol stmulates the same pathway. Exercise may act as a partial substitute for alcohol to stimulate dopamine.
Anyone living with an alcoholic is knows their alcoholic spouse relies on alcohol to fall asleep, but their sleep is disrupted and is poor quality. (Your alcoholic spouse has essentially given themselves a circadian rhythm sleep diorder by drinking alcohol).
Exercise is often included as part of the recovery program at rehabilitation facilities as a healthy way to combat cravings and distract someone from their withdrawal symptoms.
If you start working out with your alcoholic spouse it will have both physical and psychological benefits for both of you (a way for both of you to relieve stress) and may help your alcoholic spouse drink less alcohol.
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