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Is There a Connection Between Missing Sleep and Using Drugs

Any kind of substance abuse or chemical dependency can lead to Substance or medication-induced sleep disorder which is clinically also known as insomnia.

Substance or medication-induced sleep disorder differs from sleep disorders caused due to anxiety and stress.

When one goes through substance abuse such as taking alcohol or drugs they stay awake late at night disturbing the regular sleep cycle. In contrast to these normal responses to drugs, alcohol or any addictive substance,  substance/medication-induced sleep disorder intervene with sleep more significantly, and the negative effects last for longer time.

There are variety of drugs that causes sleep disorder such as:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Cannabis
  3. Caffeine
  4. Sedatives
  5. Cocaine
  6. Anxiolytics
  7. Tobacco
  8. Hypnotics
  9. Amphetamines
  10. Opioids
  11. Any Other substances or stimulants

Medicines that induces sleep disorder are Corticosteroids, Antihistamines, Serotonergic agonist, Cholinergic agonist, Dopamine agonist and Adrenergic agonist.

How The Chronic Cycle of Substance Use Induce Sleep Problems?

Many people believe that alcohol and certain other drugs have a relaxing effect. At least initially, any form of alcohol, drug, chemical dependency, a certain dose of tranquilizers or opiates can help them fall asleep, while others believe that caffeine or other stimulants can help to stay awake.  Any form of substance abuse disrupts the body’s natural process of activation and relaxation, making it difficult to fall asleep. You will most likely re-use these substances to fall asleep, and as tolerance develops, you may need more alcohol, drugs or medication be effective and sleep well. However, this will not be effective in the long term and sleep cycle gets disturbed. You may be surprised of  finding yourself awake at night, which is usually related to insomnia, fatigue, exhaustion, uncontrollable tiredness and sleepiness while you are awake. People who encounter these problems often turn to caffeine and other stimulants to combat daytime fatigue, which in turn makes it more difficult to fall asleep.

Types of sleep Disorder includes Insomnia, Daytime sleepiness, parasomnia and mix type.

In some cases, taking one or multiple drugs can cause sleep disorders almost immediately. According to the diagnostic guidelines for sleep disorders evaluated by doctors and other health professionals, there is even a category of “poisoning episodes,” which means that sleep disorders actually start when a person is under the influence of alcohol, recreational drugs, chemical dependency or medication. Sleep disorder is a very common withdrawal symptom, and like other withdrawal symptoms, it usually disappears on its own within a few days or weeks after one stop using alcohol, drugs, chemical dependency or any form of prolonged medication. Therefore, it takes time to determine whether sleep problems are merely withdrawal symptoms or due to addiction.  If you have a sleep disorder caused by the use of drugs, you may experience sleep problems during the withdrawal period and may persist or worsen during  rehabilitation or recovery phase. Sometimes sleep problems belong to a larger group of symptoms of long-term withdrawal, which are called “acute post-cessation syndrome” (PAWS).

How does it Impact life?

The diagnosis of substance/medication-induced sleep disorder leaves a significant impact on the person’s life, since it causes  a great deal of distress and definitely impair some aspect of their life. This can include anything from their social life to their work life, or even relationships.

Becoming Aware of Your Sleep Problem

It may take months or even years for you to become aware of sleep disorders caused by alcohol abuse, drug abuse or chemical dependency. The concept of substance-induced sleep disorder is that many people affected by it drink, take drugs, or use medications to try and get to good  sleep, but in reality those same drugs actually interfere with getting a good night’s sleep afterward. Therefore, people often don’t realize or misinterpret that it is alcohol, drugs or medications that are causing the sleep problems, because they associate or feel those substances as sleep inducers.

When To get help?

As soon as you realize you are having sleep disruption, consult doctor immediately. Talk about your addiction to them for proper diagnosis and treatment. To get rid of your addiction you can always contact a therapist.

If you  or a loved one is struggling with a SUD and a mental illness and is looking for a reliable behavioral health center, get in touch with the 24/7 Recovery Helpline by calling our 24/7 alcohol helpline 855-441-4405. 24/7 Recovery Helpline is linked with multiple behavioral health centers that offer comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for patients dealing with substance abuse issues, as well as mental health disorders. You can also chat online with our experts available 24/7 at our drug addiction help online to get guidance about dual-diagnosis treatment centers and programs offered.

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