Study Shows Importance Of Sleep During Opioid Withdrawal


Getting adequate sleep isn’t just essential for optimal functioning throughout the day: for opioid addicts, it could be a key factor in reducing the cravings for opioids during withdrawal.

A new study from Pennsylvania State University’s Social Science Research Institute and researchers from the school’s College of Medicine highlighted the connections between sleep and a possible relapse risk. Using a custom smartphone app created by the research enter, 68 patients from the Caron Treatment Center reported the quality of their sleep and general mood four times daily for 12 days. The app then streamed the data in real time to the researchers’ lab, where it was analyzed along with information face-to-face interviews with the patients.

The scientists noted that those who reported a lower quality of sleep had higher cravings for opioids. About 31% of the overall association between cravings and sleep quality was attributed to maintaining a positive outlook during withdrawal. However, no evidence could be cited for an association between sleep quality and cravings and a negative attitude.

Study co-author and associate professor Bo Cleveland noted that “this study opens the door to further research on the relationship between sleep, moods and cravings with patients with other substance abuse.”