What is the role of drug or substance abuse in the etiology of insomnia?

Updated: Sep 11, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Sleep disruption is common with the excessive use of stimulants, alcohol, or sedative-hypnotics. One of the following applies:

  • The patient has current, ongoing dependence on or abuse of a drug or substance known to have sleep-disruptive properties either during periods of use or intoxication or during periods of withdrawal

  • The patient has current ongoing use of or exposure to a medication, food, or toxin known to have sleep-disruptive properties in susceptible individuals

The insomnia is temporally associated with the substance exposure, use, or abuse, or acute withdrawal. The sleep disturbance cannot be better explained by another sleep disorder, medical or neurologic disorder, medication use, or substance abuse disorder.


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