How Do Stimulants Affect Your Sleep?

What are stimulants exactly? Stimulants, also known as uppers, temporarily increase energy, alertness as well as elevate blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. Stimulants include legal substances such as Adderall or Ritalin. They also include illegal drugs like cocaine, crack, and methamphetamines.

Historically, stimulants were used to treat asthma and other respiratory problems, obesity, neurological disorders, and a variety of other ailments. But as their potential for misuse and addiction became apparent, the number of conditions treated with stimulants has decreased. (NIDA)

Like many other drugs, the risk of dependency and addiction to stimulants is very high because stimulants produce a feeling of euphoria. The misuse of stimulants can severely affect your physical and mental health.

Stimulants and Sleep

The Effects of Stimulant Use

The short-term effects of stimulant use can vary some depending on the type of stimulant is taken, but generally, include:

  • Increased wakefulness and physical activity
  • Extreme happiness and energy
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fast breathing
  • Rapid/irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature
  • Irritability
  • Sleep problems

Long-term stimulant abuse includes:

  • Extreme weight loss/ malnourishment
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in brain function
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis

Stimulant drug abuse and how it affects sleep patterns

As previously stated, stimulant drug use is commonly associated with wakefulness. When stimulants are used correctly, they can actually promote healthy sleep patterns by increasing brain stimulation during the day. However, when they are abused, they can severely disrupt the way you sleep. After you experience the extreme wakefulness and alertness of being high on stimulants, it can actually disrupt your sleep patterns. This means followed by the extreme “up” you experience while on the drug also results in an extreme “down”. This is known as a “binge and crash”.

Sleep problems are a common occurrence with stimulant abuse and addiction. Abuse includes decreased sleep as well as excessive sleep. During a binge, a user can be awake for extended periods of time varying from hours to days depending on the severity of the binge. Once the binge is over, it is where the crash comes into play, and the user can experience excessive sleep.

According to a study published on NCBI:

Our study shows a very high prevalence of sleep disturbances among subjects with substance abuse or dependence, with almost all of the subjects reporting impaired sleep quality. Also, more than half of the subjects had moderate-to-severe insomnia.

Lack of sleep suggests that stimulant misuse and impaired sleep can be a vicious cycle. Stimulants impair your sleep. Reduced sleep produces changes in the brain that predispose the further use of drugs and addiction.

What to do if you have an addiction to stimulants

The best and safest option to getting off stimulants such as Adderall, Cocaine, and Methamphetamines is through the treatment programs offered at Recreate Life Counseling in Boynton Beach, Florida. We offer partial care and outpatient treatment programs that provide therapeutic education and guidance for each individual in order to help them reintegrate into society in a safe way. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one on one, group therapy, as well as many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs. Addiction treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to avoid relapse in the real world.

Addiction isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and addiction professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it.