Opioid Use May Increase the Risk of Sleep Disorders. A picture of two pills sitting in front of some pill bottles faded in the background.

The opioid epidemic is not news to anyone, and the numbers can be scary. More than 10.3 million Americans are misusing prescribed opioids, daily. Back in October 2017, the White House declared an opioid crisis and a national Public Health Emergency. Furthermore, sleeping disorders, like insomnia, are becoming more common with the related use of these prescribed drugs.

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder in adults known to cause difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or fulfilling rest. Poor sleeping habits, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, and certain medications can be contributing factors. Thirty percent of the general population reports brief symptoms of insomnia, while 10% report having chronic insomnia.

The University of Florida, Department of Epidemiology, conducted a cross-sectional study including 8,433 members of a community outreach program in Northeast Florida. Community health workers analyzed their health information, including any use of opioids such as Vicodin®, Oxycodone, Codeine, Demerol®, Morphine, Percocet®, Darvon®, and Hydrocodone. Insomnia effects were determined based on self-reporting. Logistic regression modeling and statistics were calculated with 95% confidence intervals for insomnia.

Among all the community members recruited, 2,115 reported insomnias while 4,200 reported using opioids. Insomnia was 42% more common among reported cases of opioid use, compared to others not taking the prescribed drugs. However, it is still important to continue investigating the relationship between the two. These findings will help aid future analyses. 1

Sources:

  1. Serdarevic M, Osborne V, Striley CW, Cottler LB. The association between insomnia and prescription opioid use: results from a community sample in Northeast Florida. Sleep health. 2017 Oct 1;3(5):368-72.
  2. https://www.sleephealthsolutionsohio.com/blog/opioids-risk-sleep-disorders/
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