Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 74 (5), 928-33

Sleep Disturbance as a Universal Risk Factor for Relapse in Addictions to Psychoactive Substances

Affiliations

Sleep Disturbance as a Universal Risk Factor for Relapse in Addictions to Psychoactive Substances

Kirk J Brower et al. Med Hypotheses.

Abstract

Relapse to uncontrolled use of a psychoactive substance is arguably the single most defining characteristic of an addiction. Relapse following addiction treatment is very common with serious consequences to individuals, families, and the public system of care, making predictors of relapse a highly significant area of study. Before the turn of the century, most of the addiction treatment outcome literature focused on psychosocial predictors of relapse. More recently, investigating biological predictors of relapse specifically and treatment outcome broadly has gained momentum. This line of research has linked sleep disturbances to the risk of relapse among persons who are recovering from an alcohol addiction. Given common neurobiological and psychosocial processes in sleep and addictive behaviors, we hypothesize that the link between sleep disturbance and relapse risk observed among alcohol addiction generalizes to all other types of psychoactive substances. This hypothesis has the potential for helping develop more effective and targeted treatment approaches for persons with addiction. As initial support for the hypothesis, this paper reviews evidence on common neurobiological processes among various types of psychoactive substances that suggests sleep is a universal risk factor for relapse. A conceptual framework is also presented to articulate causal mechanisms. The paper concludes with implications for research and practice.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest Statement

None Declared

Similar articles

  • [Sleep Disorders and Addictions: Impact on Quality of Life and Relapse Vulnerability]
    M Fatseas et al. Presse Med 45 (12 Pt 1), 1164-1169. PMID 26970937.
    There is a bidirectional association between sleep disorders and addiction. Sleep problems negatively impact the quality of life of subjects with addictions (psychologica …
  • Sleep Disturbances in Mood Disorders
    ME Rumble et al. Psychiatr Clin North Am 38 (4), 743-59. PMID 26600106. - Review
    The article provides an overview of common and differentiating self-reported and objective sleep disturbances seen in mood-disordered populations. The importance of consi …
  • Sleep Disturbance in Substance Use Disorders
    TA Roehrs et al. Psychiatr Clin North Am 38 (4), 793-803. PMID 26600109. - Review
    This article discusses the role sleep and alertness disturbance plays in the initiation, maintenance and relapse of substance use disorders.
  • The Most Important Unresolved Issue in the Addictions: Conceptual Chaos
    HJ Shaffer. Subst Use Misuse 32 (11), 1573-80. PMID 9336866. - Review
    This article suggests that the field of addiction study and treatment remains in a state of conceptual chaos. The addictions is an emerging scientific field that lacks co …
  • [Relationships Between Sleep and Addiction]
    F Cañellas et al. Adicciones 24 (4), 287-90. PMID 23241715.
    La interacción entre los trastornos del sueño y el abuso de sustancias es ya conocida, pero seguramente más compleja de lo que se pensaba. Existe tanto una relación posit …
See all similar articles

Cited by 43 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

Substances

Feedback