The Impact Of Losing Sleep

People make odd claims regarding their sleep. “I just don’t need that much sleep” or “I need a lot more sleep than normal people”. Across the board, professionals have advised, we need about 6-8 hours of sleep each night to function well. For optimum performance and function, we should be getting between 8-10 hours of sleep. 10 hours of sleep is not a commitment many can make. We make our lives incredibly busy, rather than full. To schedule time for 10 hours of sleep could result in missing out or not getting something done. Few could argue, however, the feeling of waking up well rested and refreshed on those scarce yet sacred mornings after a full 9 or 10 hours of sleep. Sleep doesn’t just feel good. Sleep is good for your mind, your body, and important functions within both.

An attachment to drug and alcohol addiction tends to result in disrupted patterns of sleep. For example, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and other stimulants tend to keep one awake. Abuse of drugs such as crystal meth can result in staying awake for more than a week. Alcohol tends to render someone unconscious at one point, however, drinking alcohol can take someone well into the early hours of the morning. Substance abuse confuses the way the brain relates to the time of day, sleep, and waking. Meaning, that the circadian rhythm of the body gets thrown off. Additionally, the brain and body lose sense of natural indications for melatonin production. When the body senses it is time to go to bed, i.e. when the sun goes down, it begins to produce melatonin which is a natural hormone to help regulate sleep. Without a regular pattern of when to sleep and when to wake, the brain is in a constant state of exhaustion. Combine this effect with the ongoing impact of drugs and alcohol. One’s entire system gets undone.

Sleep in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction while in treatment is important. It is likely the facility psychiatrist will prescribe a medication for sleep. Most sleep medications aren’t used ongoing. They are a supplement to gaining back a regular sleep cycle. At first, many experience insomnia, nightmares, or other sleep disruptions that can leave them exhausted. After the initial first few weeks of detox and withdrawal, a normal sleep cycle starts to regulate again.

Effects Of Sleep Loss In Time Intervals

  • 24 Hours: loss of focus
  • 36 Hours: loss of memory
  • 72 Hours: loss of touch with reality; hallucinations


Refuge Recovery understands the challenge in resetting the body back to “normal” after prolonged attachment to addiction and abusive behaviors with substances. The Refuge Recovery program approaches healing the body and mind in harmony with one another, resulting in a holistic healing. Refuge offers detox services in addition to other levels of treatment. Call or text us today for more information 323-207-0276.

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