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The Relationship Between Cocaine and Sleep

The Relationship Between Cocaine and Sleep

When thinking about cocaine addiction, many ideas and visualizations can come to mind. The most common might be that of a businessperson that uses it to focus and get their work done, or it could be youthful partygoers that seek to maintain their energy until the sun comes up. No matter the case, abusing this drug can lead to long-term consequences for the user’s physical, mental, and financial health. Banyan Treatment Center Stuart is breaking down the crossroads between cocaine and sleep and what avenues a person should take if they find themselves in such a scenario. 

Why Sleeping and Cocaine Do Not Mix  

Cocaine is a stimulant and is responsible for heightening levels of dopamine in the brain, which means that one of the most common effects is a sense of alertness and wakefulness. A user may experience a reduced need for sleep, while the euphoric and energizing sensations that they are undergoing can lead them to act erratically. In fact, it is widely accepted that a reduced need for sleep is a strong sign of potential cocaine abuse.1 There are many aspects of a person’s sleeping routine that can be affected, such as: 

  • The amount of time that it takes to fall asleep 
  • The total time they stayed asleep 
  • Whether or not they are able to experience deep sleep or REM sleep 

So not only can a person find themselves awake for longer periods, but even sleeping on cocaine, when technically successful, is far less restful or restorative than it should be. As more habits form over time, it may even feel like the body is adjusting to the unusual sleep patterns that this kind of drug abuse is responsible for.   

Does Cocaine Cause Insomnia?  

A person can develop insomnia because of cocaine addiction. Insomnia itself involves an inability to fall asleep, despite a person’s best efforts to do so. This does not mean that the person is never tired. However, as the damaging effects of physical fatigue set in, they are that much more likely to reuse cocaine to “function.” This fuels an intensely distressing cycle that can have profound consequences.  

Some other issues that can arise from cocaine use include:  

  • A decline in sleep quality or quantity 
  • Issues with cognitive functions 
  • Sleep debt, which is a lack of adequate sleep that builds up over time 
  • Unawareness regarding one’s own sleep problems  

A sleep-disturbed person is far more likely to make decisions that they normally wouldn’t when well-rested. If you can’t sleep after cocaine binges or abuse, you may need detox services at our Stuart, FL, rehab. 

Cocaine and Circadian Rhythm Disorders  

All people have an internal clock that aids them in maintaining a regulated sleep schedule. This clock resides in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the brain’s hypothalamus. It is responsible for regulating an individual’s routines of feeding, hormone release, immune functions, and body temperature.2 The SCN uses factors from a person’s environment in its functions. An example of this is day length, which can explain why people will experience sleep issues around periods of daylight changes, such as at the beginning or end of daylight savings time. The brain will proceed to adapt to these changes.   

When the presence of cocaine is introduced, these rhythms are that much more impacted. This is due to the obvious disruptions to sleep patterns that this kind of drug abuse results in. A person’s responses to the cues typically utilized by the SCN to inform different daily cycles of their routine can also explain the commonality of wake cycles amongst cocaine abusers. 

Banyan Stuart is Here to Help  

If you or someone you love is struggling with any of the sensations described above, take solace in the fact that recovery is still entirely possible. Our facilities offer excellent cocaine addiction treatment that can address all facets of your unique situation. The many programs that aid in this recovery are accented by unique therapeutic methods that are renowned for their healing potential. 

Our team of clinical professionals will do everything in their power to promote healing from cocaine insomnia and any other drug-related side effects. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and we are here to help you reach it.   

To learn more about the programs offered and how you can heal from an addiction to cocaine and sleep once again, contact the Stuart, Florida, Banyan Treatment Center at 888-280-4763 today! 



  1. SAMHSA – The Truth about Cocaine 
  2. NCBI - Cocaine Modulates Mammalian Circadian Clock Timing by Decreasing Serotonin Transport in the SCN 


Related Reading  

Medical Cocaine and Its Uses 

What Happens When You Mix Ambien and Cocaine? 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.