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How Long Should Insomnia Last in Recovery?

For many people, insomnia and drug or alcohol addiction seemingly go hand-in-hand. The inability to sleep is life-changing and can make functioning normally, very difficult. It’s not unusual for addiction to cause insomnia or insomnia to cause addiction. In recovery, we may still experience sleep difficulties and the problems and frustration that accompany lack of sleep.

When you go into treatment, once the chemicals begin leaving your body, you may begin experience sleep difficulties. Roughly 75% of alcoholics experience sleep problems after detox, and insomnia symptoms can last as long as five weeks following detox. This poses a problem for recovery in that alcoholics experiencing insomnia are twice as likely to relapse than those with few sleep issues. Because this is such a big problem, treatment addresses insomnia and teaches patients how to cope as well as how to change behavioral patterns that can affect sleep.

Timelines for other drugs and insomnia symptoms:

  • Cocaine: Up to 10 weeks
  • Benzodiazepines: A couple of weeks
  • Opiates: Present in early withdrawal, within 12-30 hours onset
  • Marijuana: 2 to 4 weeks; sleep may take 2 months to return to normal
  • Amphetamines: Post-acute withdrawal, onset within 3-5 days after last use.

Cognitive behavioral treatment and biofeedback are techniques often included in a treatment setting, both of which can improve sleep quality. Though not a first line of defense, non-addictive medication may occasionally be provided for bouts of sleeplessness. It is important to remember that turning to medication to “fix” an issue you are experiencing should be a last-ditch resort. Always speak to your medical provider before taking anything for sleep as many sleep aids may be addictive.

Early recovery isn’t easy, and experiencing sleep issues can be quite discouraging. Always remember that what you are experiencing is temporary. Treatment will provide you with the tools to cope with the changes you’re going through, and will help you get through them safely and in the most comfortable way possible. If you are struggling with addiction, give us a call. The rewards of longterm recovery outweigh the issues of early recovery. We can help you make the transition comfortably, in a supportive environment that can help you live a healthy life.

The Serenity Recovery Center stands as a landmark of the Encino Hospital Medical Center offering the best of detox. Committed to providing comfort and care, our private detox program supports the first foundational steps of sobriety. Contact us today for information: 866.294.9401