top of page

Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder

Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder is a sleep disorder characterized by disturbance in sleep that is directly caused by substance use or withdrawal, such as alcohol, caffeine, or medication.

Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder

What is the definition for Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder?

Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder is a sleep disorder characterized by disturbance in sleep that is directly caused by substance use or withdrawal, such as alcohol, caffeine, or medication. The sleep disturbance may include insomnia, hypersomnia, or other sleep-related issues, and can lead to significant impairment in daytime functioning.

How many and what type of people does Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder affect?

Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder can affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds who use or withdraw from substances that affect the central nervous system, such as alcohol, caffeine, stimulants, or sedatives. 

The prevalence of substance-induced sleep disorder depends on the specific substance involved, the dosage, the duration of use, and other individual factors. It is often seen in people with substance use disorders or in those who take medications for other medical conditions.

What are the symptoms of Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder?

The symptoms of Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder can vary depending on the substance used, the dose, and other individual factors. Some common symptoms may include:

  • Insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep)

  • Hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness during the day)

  • Abnormal sleep behaviors (such as sleepwalking or sleep eating)

  • Nightmares or vivid dreams

  • Sleep-related hallucinations or delusions

  • Interrupted or fragmented sleep

  • Changes in sleep patterns, such as difficulty sleeping at the usual time or sleeping more or less than usual

  • Impaired daytime functioning, such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, or poor memory.

It is important to note that the symptoms of substance-induced sleep disorder typically improve once the substance use is stopped or reduced, although this may take some time depending on the substance and the individual's overall health.

What are the diagnosis criteria for Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder?

The diagnosis of Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder requires the presence of sleep disturbance that is judged to be due to the direct physiological effects of a substance, as demonstrated by both of the following:

  • The sleep disturbance began during or soon after substance use or withdrawal.

  • The sleep disturbance is not better explained by a sleep disorder that is not substance-induced.

  • The sleep disturbance must also cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 

In addition, the diagnosis requires the identification of the specific substance or substances involved, as well as a determination of whether the substance use meets criteria for a substance use disorder.

A thorough medical and psychiatric evaluation is typically necessary to rule out other causes of sleep disturbance and to determine the appropriate treatment approach.

What are strategies and treatments for overcoming Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder?

The strategies and treatments for Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder depend on the specific substance involved, the severity of the sleep disturbance, and other individual factors. Some general strategies that may be helpful include:

  • Avoiding or reducing the use of substances that disrupt sleep, such as alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine.

  • Establishing a regular sleep schedule and practicing good sleep hygiene, such as keeping a consistent sleep routine, creating a relaxing sleep environment, and avoiding stimulating activities before bedtime.

  • Using behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or stimulus control therapy, which can help improve sleep patterns and reduce anxiety related to sleep.

  • In some cases, medications such as sedatives or sleep aids may be prescribed, although these should be used under close medical supervision and only for a limited time.

For those with co-occurring substance use disorders, treatment for the underlying substance use disorder may be necessary to improve sleep patterns. This may involve detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, and/or behavioral therapies to address the substance use disorder. It is important to consult with a qualified medical or mental health professional to determine the best course of treatment for substance-induced sleep disorder.

This content is provided for informational and entertainment value only. It is not a replacement for a trained professional's diagnosis or for the treatment of any illness. If you feel like you are struggling with this condition, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. With the right treatment and support, individuals with this condition can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives. BetterPsych provides full psychological services via telehealth and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on our services. For more information and to find a therapist specializing in this disorder, please call (833) 496-5011, or visit

bottom of page