November 5, 2014
Science Daily/Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
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, according to a results of a recent study.
"Treating sleep disturbance in early recovery may have considerable impact on maintenance of sobriety and quality of life," according to Dr. Nicholas Rosenlicht of University of San Francisco and colleagues. They summarize the benefits of treatment, highlighting the role of effective behavioral approaches. The lead author was Katherine A. Kaplan, PhD, of Stanford University School of Medicine.
More generally, clinicians should be aware prescribing medications to treat insomnia may be "incongruent with or unpalatable to" treatment programs focusing on abstinence. In one survey, many addiction medicine specialists said they'd be reluctant to prescribe any medication to patients with sleep problems.
This belief has made behavioral approaches more widely used to treat patients with insomnia during recovery. In particular, evidence supports the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This multicomponent approach includes daily sleep diaries and questionnaires to gather information on the patient's insomnia and progress during treatment; and education on sleep and the effects of substances, including "sleep hygiene" practices to promote good sleep.