Addiction and Sleep Disorders

Jonathan Ek, William Jacobs, Brett Kaylor, W Vaughn McCall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Shared neurophysiology of addiction and sleep disorders results in a bidirectional interplay. Diagnosing and treating primary sleep disorders, particularly in adolescents, can prevent the development of addiction in susceptible individuals. Addressing sleep issues in early recovery, and throughout maintenance, can prevent relapse. Cannabis use for insomnia shows mixed results; assisting with onset sleep latency in early use, this subsides with chronic use and holds addiction risk. Insomnia is a primary complaint of cannabis withdrawal syndrome and a primary cause of relapse in cannabis use disorder. An ideal sleep aid would prevent relapse and have low abuse potential. Pharmaceutical and behavioral options include suvorexant, mirtazapine, trazodone, and aerobic exercise, but clinical trials are lacking to demonstrate efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
StatePublished - 2021


  • Addiction
  • Cannabis
  • Insomnia
  • Orexin
  • Relapse
  • Sleep disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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