Does my drug use cause insomnia?

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Most people know that excessive drug use can have negative impacts on a person’s life. It can cause financial, interpersonal, legal, emotional and many other problems. But few people know that drug use can sometimes cause insomnia.

Prescription drugs that can cause insomnia include those that are used to treat the following disorders:

  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma
  • Emphysema
  • Depression
  • Mental Illness
  • ADD and ADHD
  •  Metabolic Disorders

Taking stimulants can also cause insomnia. These drugs increase alertness and energy, making it difficult to sleep. Individuals who overuse stimulants experience long periods of insomnia that can have a significant impact on mental health. Methamphetamine, cocaine, crack and ecstasy are all illegal stimulants that cause insomnia by affecting the levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. A lack of sleep is a common complaint for drug users. In addition, individuals who are experiencing detox may also sometimes suffer from insomnia while their body phases out the withdrawal period.

Getting help for drug misuse itself is the best method for dealing with drug related insomnia. Self-medicating by taking other drugs to get sleep can lead to serious medical problems and is only masking the problem at hand.

The most common forms of treatment available is typically 12 step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), and similar groups. 12 step programs are typically incorporated in over 90% of treatment and rehab programs today, but lack true effectiveness in solving a drug or alcohol problem. However, many substance users bank of the affordability of these 12 step programs, mainly because they are at no cost to them. Many people who have been through programs such as this complain of the lack of answers and solutions to their substance use, mostly because 12 step programs don’t provide a solution, just a belief in a higher power.

In some cases extreme insomnia may need to be treated separately by a medical professional. In other cases, insomnia can be cured through natural remedies and a lifestyle change, but does not necessarily always need medication to be fixed. Those who have overcome a drug problem and are still suffering from insomnia can try some of the following tips to help them get a more restful night’s sleep.

  • Avoid an irregular sleep schedule. Avoid going to bed at extreme different times for example 8pm some nights and 1am other nights. Consistently is key to resetting your body for proper sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and sleep aids. Sometimes these will actually disrupt sleep patterns more than help and will prevent the body from achieving proper REM cycles and increase daytime weariness even though alcohol will make you sleepy at first.
  • Get more sunlight throughout the day. This will help your brain prepare itself for sleep. Too much artificial lighting hours before bed time can repress the production of melatonin, making it much more difficult for the body to prepare itself for sleep.
  • Sleeping in a dark room. This will ultimately help you get more rest. Sleeping with the glow of a television or lamp can prevent your body from entering a proper sleep or REM cycle. A cooler, quite room will work the greatest for optimum rest. Investing in shades, room darkening curtains or keeping a fan running throughout the night is a good option as well.

If you have questions about overcoming a drug problem and insomnia, call Saint Jude Retreats today to get help. 1-888-424-2626