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People Think Alcohol Helps with Sleep

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The goal of this chapter is to assist the clinician in the consideration of sleep disorders in patients with substance use disorders (SUD). After developing a differential diagnosis of potential sleep disorders in SUD, the treatment team can then develop an initial plan in order to evaluate and treat the patient appropriately. Patients with SUD are susceptible to all of the sleep disorders that can affect patients without SUD, plus additional SUD-related sleep conditions. Due to this complexity, the diagnostic phase may require more than one diagnostic endeavor and/or treatment trial before proceeding with definitive treatment.

In preparing this chapter, we have relied heavily upon several sources of information. First, we have reviewed the salient literature on sleep disorders in SUD, ranging from case reports to formal clinical epidemiological studies. Second, we have collaborated with sleep experts in the assessment and treatment of sleep disorders in SUD patients. Third, we have called upon our own clinical observations and experience in addressing sleep disorders in patients with SUD.


  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Sedatives
  • Inhalants
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Hallucinogens
  • Anticholinergics
  • Cannabis
  • Tobacco
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone
  • Aripiprazole augmentation
  • Auto-titrating positive airway pressure (APAP)
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA)
  • Compliance
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Ethnic imperative
  • Fluoxetine
  • Hypoxemia
  • Initial insomnia
  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Mindfulness training
  • Nighttime awakening
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Oxygen Desaturation Index (ODI)
  • Pancreatitis
  • PAT Respiratory Disturbance Index (PRDI)
  • PAT Valid Sleep Time (PVST)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Prazosin
  • Psychotherapy
  • Rapid eye movement (REM)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
  • Substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Trazodone

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Correspondence to Joseph Westermeyer .

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Westermeyer, J., Dickmann, P., Swanson, H. (2021). People Think Alcohol Helps with Sleep. In: Khawaja, I.S., Hurwitz, T.D. (eds) Sleep Disorders in Selected Psychiatric Settings. Springer, Cham.

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