Even drug treatment centers are concerned about sleep disorders, specifically insomnia, after a report in the Journal of Addiction Medicine that suggests that the incidence of insomnia in early addiction recovery may be five times higher than the general population.
Janice Wood at Psych Central writes that insomnia 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.
“Treating sleep disturbance in early recovery may have considerable impact on maintenance of sobriety and quality of life,” said Nicholas Rosenlicht, M.D., of the University of San Francisco, in Psych Central.
Wood adds that insomnia may be linked with a higher risk of alcohol-related problems and relapse, the researchers noted. The association may run in the other direction as well — other studies have found that people with sleep disturbances are more likely to be at risk of developing addiction.
According to Wood, some people addicted to alcohol drink in the evening as a way to address sleep problems, the researchers reported. But it has the opposite effect: “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, according to the researchers.”
Source: Wood, J. (2014). Insomnia in Early Addiction Recovery Ups Relapse Risk. Psych Central.