In this article, I’m going to teach you how to sleep during opiate withdrawal. Opiate withdrawal insomnia is NO JOKE…and like countless individuals, I’ve had my fair share of sleepless nights while I was kicking narcotics.
I mean SERIOUSLY…it’s bad enough going through opiate withdrawal all day long, but then we don’t even get a break at night?! Really?! I’m soooo glad that phase of my life is long-gone, and since then I’ve made it my Life’s Purpose and Mission to help others recover from opiate addiction.
My ULTIMATE PASSION is writing articles that can help you and others reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms, quit opiates for good, and live an awesome life of fulfillment and joy. OK, so enough about me! Now it’s time to really add some value to your life.
I’ve put together the following list of effective strategies so you can quickly learn how to sleep during opiate withdrawal. After reading about these methods, you should be able to dramatically reduce your opiate withdrawal insomnia…thus enabling you to get some rest and start the next day FRESH!
What Causes Opiate Withdrawal Insomnia?
Before we get into the tips for getting sleep during opiate withdrawal, I think it’s important for you to at least have a basic understanding of what’s going on with your body.
Morphine, heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, Suboxone, and other opioid drugs attach to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are located on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, GI tract, and other organs.
Once these drugs attach to the opioid receptors, their effects come on, which include, but are not limited to:
- Pain relief
As human beings, we already have an endogenous painkilling system that is capable of producing pain relief, sedation, and euphoria. This natural pain relief system is activated when we exercise, eat certain foods, or perform other activities.
We already produce these natural opioid chemicals in the premise amounts our bodies were designed to handle. The problem arises when an individual has been using an opioid drug for a period of time. After prolonged use of opioid drugs, the production of endogenous opioids is inhibited.
The continuous use of opioids overrides our natural ability to produce endorphins and enkephalins. The brain comes to rely upon the drugs to create these neurotransmitters.
Whether an individual is abusing opioids or even taking them as prescribed by a physician, the continued use quickly leads to tolerance.
Tolerance is a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a decrease of the drug’s effects over time. When an individual abruptly stops using opioids, leading opioid-blood concentration to fall below the required level, the now opioid-tolerant central nervous system (CNS) goes HAYWIRE!
With no inhibitive stimulation to satisfy receptors, the pathways of the CNS fire signals strenuously, performing at a level MUCH higher than pre-dependence levels. Now the locus coeruleus responds by triggering the autonomic fight or flight response.
What results is known as the opiate withdrawal syndrome, and it’s one of the MOST HORRIFIC experiences an individual could ever go through.
Some of the most common symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Aching muscles and limbs
- Teary eyes
- Runny nose
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Hot and cold sweats
- Goose bumbs
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- And of course…INSOMNIA!!!
How To Sleep During Opiate Withdrawal
Now that you have a general understanding of what causes opiate withdrawal insomnia and other symptoms, we can dive right in to some useful tips for ending your suffering. Furthermore, these strategies can help with more than just opiate withdrawal insomnia, as they have been shown to be helpful for other symptoms as well.
And the REALLY COOL part is that the first strategy I’m giving you right out of the gate might be all you need to stop the entire opiate withdrawal syndrome completely in it’s tracks! Thus, not only will you likely get a decent night of sleep, but your days should be much easier to get through as well. 🙂
1. Mega-Dose Vitamin C
If you’re truly wanting a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to sleep during opiate withdrawal, Vitamin C may be the best way to go.
I’ve been blogging about opiate withdrawal remedies for over a year now, and after I published my article How To Mega-Dose Vitamin C To Stop Opiate Withdrawal, I’ve received plenty of comments and emails saying how well this method works. Studies have also shown Vitamin C to reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms.
If you want to know how to sleep during opiate opiate withdrawal, I encourage you to read my article on mega-dosing Vitamin C.
Here is a short excerpt:
According to literature in the medical school library of the University of Mexico, Vitamin C might block the neuromodulatory response of opioid receptors to opioid drugs like heroin, morphine, oxycodone, etc. Furthermore, in vitro studies have also shown that high concentrations of Vitamin C may inhibit the endogenous opioid degrading metalloenzyme and increase endorphin levels.
Included in the article is a Step-by-Step detox plan using Vitamin C to make it easier for you to get started. I also encourage you to read the comments left by other individuals that have used this protocol to end their opiate withdrawal insomnia and other symptoms.
2. Mega-Dose Gabapentin
Another one of the best ways I can teach you how to sleep during opiate withdrawal is to mega-dose gabapentin. After publishing my article How To Use Gabapentin For Opiate Withdrawal, I received many blog comments and emails saying how well this protocol worked. Studies have even shown gabapentin to be useful for opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Here is some info from my gabapentin article:
Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) is a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue that was originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy, pain relief and neuropathic pain. Gabapentin was initially synthesized to mimic the chemical structure of the neurotransmitter GABA. Gabapentin is effective in the treatment of social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Gabapentin is now one of the most common medications used on people with alcohol, crack, opiate and other addictions.
Included in the article is the exact gabapentin dosages and protocols used in the two studies to reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms. I also encourage you to read through the comments so you can check out the success stories of people having easy detoxes using this method.
Benzos are anti-anxiety medications that have been used by countless individuals to get some sleep during opiate withdrawal. For some people, these medications are the only thing they need to stop the opiate withdrawal insomnia.
However, many people have also used these benzo medications to sleep during opiate withdrawal, only to find that it only helped them sleep for a couple of hours. Personally, when I used these medications to sleep during opiate withdrawal, I found that for me they worked VERY WELL. I’ve written articles on how to use the most popular benzo medications for opiate withdrawal.
Click on the links below to learn how to sleep during opiate withdrawal using benzos:
Clonodine is a blood pressure medication that is very popular for treating opiate withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine has been shown in studies to reduce symptoms, and the medication has helped many individuals get some sleep during opiate withdrawal.
I encourage you to read my article How To Use Clonodine For Opiate Withdrawal if you wish to learn more about this medication.
Here is an excerpt from the clonidine article:
Countless opiate abusers have greatly ameliorated their withdrawal symptoms by using clonidine for opiate withdrawal. It’s a wonderful medication, and I even used it once in the past for heroin withdrawal. It worked incredibly well at reducing my anxiety, insomnia, chills, goosebumps and racing heartbeat.
Dextromethorphan (DXM) is an antitussive (cough suppressant) drug found in over 125 over-the-counter cough and cold medications, including Robitussin, Coricidin and Vicks.
DXM has been shown in studies to significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms, and the over-the-counter medication has helped many opiate abusers get some sleep during opiate withdrawal. To learn more about using DXM for opiate withdrawal insomnia, I encourage you to read my article How To Use DXM For Opiate Withdrawal.
Here is an excerpt from the DXM article:
A review study from 2004 done in Germany concludes that three main mechanisms are responsible for opioid tolerance and the withdrawal syndrome dependence, which are upregulation of adenyl cyclase and nitric oxide synthetase and activation of NMDA receptors. Consequently, the use of alpha-2 agonists (e.g., clonidine) and NMDA antagonists (e.g., dextromethorphan, ketamine) can minimize the tolerance phenomenon and decrease the withdrawal symptoms.
6. Mega-Dose Loperamide
Loperamide HCL is the active ingredient in the over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication known as Imodium AD. It acts as an opioid agonist on the myenteric plexus of the large intestine, thus, it can stop opiate withdrawal diarrhea and stomach cramping very well.
Furthermore, many individuals have eliminated 80-90% or more of their opiate withdrawal symptoms (including insomnia) by mega-dosing with loperamide. I published the article How To Use Loperamide For Opiate Withdrawal, and readers have commented and emailed me how well the protocol worked for them.
To learn more on how to sleep during opiate withdrawal by mega-dosing loperamide, I encourage you to read the article.
Baclofen is a centrally-acting skeletal muscle relaxant that was approved by the FDA in 1977 for its ability to reduce muscle spams, muscle tightness, and pain.
It’s typically prescribed for spastic movement disorders, most commonly in instances of:
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cerebral palsy
Since its chemical makeup closely resembles the inhibitory neurotransmitter known as gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), baclofen has been used off-label by many individuals going through opiate withdrawal, reducing symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, and more.
Studies have shown baclofen to be effective at treating opiate withdrawal symptoms, and in one study it was shown to have better success than clonidine. To learn more about using baclofen to reduce opiate withdrawal insomnia, I encourage you to read my article How To Use Baclofen For Opiate Withdrawal.
8. Calm Support
Calm Support contains the following natural supplements that have been shown to be helpful at reducing opiate withdrawal insomnia:
- Passion flower
- Valerian root
- Mucuna pruriens
Phenibut is a truly INCREDIBLE supplement that has powerful relaxation, sleep-inducing, and mood-enhancing effects. If you want to learn how to sleep during opiate withdrawal, I suggest reading up on phenibut.
I wrote a very informative article titled How To Use Phenibut For Opiate Withdrawal that can teach you how to treat opiate withdrawal insomnia and anxiety using this supplement.
Here is a brief excerpt from the phenibut article:
Phenibut is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and derivative of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that produces feelings of calmness and tranquility. GABA inhibits nerve transmission in the brain, thus calming nervous activity.
Phenibut acts directly on the GABAB receptor sites. Drugs and substances such as baclofen, GHB, and alcohol also bind to these sites. Some believe that high doses of phenibut also bind to the GABAA receptors, which is where benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium, Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax bind to, though this is a topic of debate in the scientific community.
If you really want to know how to sleep during opiate withdrawal, kratom is a natural plant that might be able to help. However, using kratom does in fact delay the opiate withdrawal syndrome, so while it’s a quick fix, it might not be what you’re looking for.
However, it might be a great solution to your dilemma…it just depends on your unique situation.
Kratom is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, and is a member of the coffee family. Currently, kratom is not regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency in the United States (making it legal). Kratom is NOT AN OPIATE.
Kratom, simply put, is an opioid agonist. This means that it mimics the effects of hydrocodone, morphine, heroin, Suboxone, Methadone, and other opioid drugs.
Kratom can help you get some sleep during opiate withdrawal, however, since it binds to your opioid receptors, this means that you are essentially delaying the time it will take to go through acute opiate withdrawal.
You may wish to do this, as tons of individuals have, to end the despair of opiate withdrawal insomnia. I highly recommend reading my article How To Use Kratom For Opiate Withdrawal if you want to learn more about kratom’s potential at reducing opiate withdrawal insomnia.
11. Sleeping Pills
Many individuals have benefited from using over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills for opiate withdrawal insomnia. These are not at the top of my list of things I would use on myself, because I believe there are much better solutions. However, a lot of people swear by them.
Popular over-the-counter sleep medications:
Popular prescription sleep medications:
- Zolpidem – Ambien
- Eszopiclone – Lunesta
More Tips For Getting Sleep During Opiate Withdrawal
In my opinion, the strategies I’ve provided you are some of the MOST POWERFUL ways to treat opiate withdrawal insomnia. However, there are many more things that can also help.
Since this is just an article and not an Ebook, I’m not going to dive deep into anything else. What I will do is simply list a few more tips that can help you sleep during opiate withdrawal.
The following tips can help you sleep during opiate withdrawal:
- 12) Dark Room – It’s important to sleep in a dark room that is cool and quiet. Also, make sure you get to bed before 12:00 am.
- 13) Blind Fold – Can help reduce opiate withdrawal insomnia.
- 14) Hot Bath – Relaxing in a hot bath or jacuzzi before bed can reduce opiate withdrawal insomnia. Kick it up a few notches by taking an epsom salt bath.
- 15) Herb Tea – Herbal teas such as kava root, passion flower, chamomile, and others can help you sleep during opiate withdrawal.
- 16) Marijuana – Some of the more sedating strains of cannabis have been reported to help in the treatment of opiate withdrawal insomnia.
- 17) Exercise – Going for a long walk, jog, swim, or doing other forms of exercise can help the body produce it’s own natural endorphins, which can help to reduce opiate withdrawal insomnia.
- 18) Qigong – The ancient Chinese forms of exercise known as Qigong and Tai Chi both focus on deep breathing, relaxed movements, and mindful meditation, which can help to reduce opiate withdrawal insomnia.
- 19) Massage – A deep tissue full body massage during the evening can help to produce endorphins, relax the nervous system, and reduce opiate withdrawal insomnia.
- 20) Acupuncture – Has the ability to relax the nervous system and promote sleep during opiate withdrawal.
- 21) Meditation – A very powerful strategy for reducing opiate withdrawal insomnia, anxiety, and other symptoms.
How To Sleep During Opiate Withdrawal Conclusion
There are many prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, natural supplements, natural drugs, and other strategies that can help an individual get some sleep during opiate withdrawal. Now that you have all of this valuable information, you should be able to use at least one or more items off this list to reduce your opiate withdrawal insomnia. Click here now to view my best home detox program.
How To Sleep During Opiate Withdrawal Questions
If you have any questions on how to sleep during opiate withdrawal, please post them in the comment box below. 🙂
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