Insomnia During Recovery

There is a high rate of insomnia during early recovery from addiction.

insomniaInsomnia is a “prevalent and persistent” problem for patients in the early phases of recovery from the disease of addiction—and may lead to an increased risk of relapse, according to a report in the November/December Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

“Treating sleep disturbance in early recovery may have considerable impact on maintenance of sobriety and quality of life,” according to Dr Nicholas Rosenlicht of University of San Francisco and colleagues. They summarize the benefits of treatment, highlighting the role of effective behavioral approaches. The lead author was Katherine A. Kaplan, PhD, of Stanford University School of Medicine.

High Rate and Impact of Insomnia during Early Recovery

Dr Rosenlicht and coauthors cite evidence suggesting that the incidence of insomnia in early recovery may be five times higher than the general population and may persist for months to years.

Insomnia may be linked with a higher risk of alcohol-related problems and relapse. The association may run in the other direction as well—population studies report people with sleep disturbance are more likely to be at risk of developing addiction..

Compounding the problem, some patients addicted to alcohol use the substance in the evening in an effort to address sleep problems. Alcohol is a well-documented cause of sleep disruption with toxic effects on several neurobiological systems, and may contribute to lasting sleep problems even during abstinence.

If insomnia contributes to relapse, can treatment for insomnia reduce that risk? The evidence is mixed, with some studies reporting that using medications for insomnia during recovery (mainly from addiction with alcohol) can lower the relapse rate.

Clinicians should be cautious when prescribing medications to address insomnia in the recovering patient. This population of patients may be at increased risk for misuse, abuse, or addiction to sleep medications, or prone to “rebound insomnia” after medications are discontinued. In short, use of such medications may increase the risk of relapse.

Knowing all this, why not turn to a host of natural solutions for sleep problems. This stuff can be keep at facilities and encouraged to be tried, prior to any prescription medication that could further cloud the recovery picture. There are both single homeopathic remedies for insomnia, and there are compounds that can be purchased over the counter, and remember, homeopathy is not a drug, it is a vibrational gentle reminder to the body (which steps in and does the work) and there are no side effects or chance for overdose. Old fashioned camomile tea before bed still works magic, and Melatonin has long been given as a natural sleep aid. There are Sai Sanjeevini prayer patterns for sleep, and also Bach flower remedies that can calm the spirit so that sleep can creep in and believe me, they work. go to for a whole new system of healing for both medical and behavioral health matters.

March 14, 2015


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