Methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth, can be a highly addictive and dangerous drug.
What many people may not know is that the use of this substance has been shown to have negative effects on sleep quality.
This blog post will discuss how this drug affects sleep in terms of both dosage and quality, and what you should do if you believe someone close to you is using it.
The mechanism by which meth works
Methamphetamine is a CNS stimulant that is commonly combined with amphetamines.
When the drug is taken, several neurotransmitters are enhanced. It’s also been suggested that when someone uses the drug, these neurotransmitters are released in greater amounts.
Excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and others, are affected by meth use.
Its medical and psychoactive properties are due to the mechanism of action.
Dose-Dependent Side Effects of Methamphetamine
The effects of meth use are dose-dependent, with moderate sensations of pleasure being experienced by users who take the drug in therapeutic dosages.
These effects are paradoxical in persons with ADHD, since they are more likely to have greater attention and focus but less impulsiveness and hyperactivity.
Those who abuse the drug will frequently take it in large quantities. They will often binge on it, resulting in amplified sensations of invulnerability, euphoria, delusion, psychosis, hyperactivity, and difficulty concentrating.
Meth Tolerance and Abusive Behavior
Meth users’ brains become tolerant to central nervous system stimulants, particularly if they abuse the drug.
People who use meth typically do so in a way that does not properly enter the brain. They may crush it and then snort, smoke, or inject the powder produced.
When methamphetamine is taken in this manner, its effects are felt rapidly and swiftly wear off when used in this manner.
The addiction-forming process begins when a user takes the drug for the first time.
Tolerance to its effects develops as a result of repeated dosing, resulting in users developing an increased tolerance to the drug’s positive and negative effects.
Users’ tolerance of the drug’s benefits and drawbacks grows, which leads them to engage in higher amounts of consumption over time.
How Sleep is Effected While Using Meth
Even people who use meth for medical purposes might have their normal sleep cycle disrupted by the stimulant effects of the drug.
When people binge on methamphetamine for lengthy periods of time, they are frequently unable to sleep for one or more days at a time while under the influence of the drug.
The neurotransmitters affected by meth’s mechanism of action are depleted when users quit using it, and they may subsequently become drowsy and lethargic.
Sleeping for long periods of time can cause a crash. The medication, on the other hand, might have an effect on how good one’s sleep is.
Why Sleep Quality is Disrupted When Using Meth
Methamphetamine, when taken in therapeutic doses to cure narcolepsy, appears to help these people achieve relatively normal amounts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
When people abusing the drug sleep, their sleep quality and quantity deteriorate. They might also have vivid and frightening dreams while sleeping.
Abusers of meth may experience disrupted sleep cycles. Many long-term meth users’ sleeping patterns are similar to their drug abuse patterns.
They go for long periods without resting while under the influence of the drug and then sleep for extended amounts of time, but the quality of their sleep is typically significantly reduced.
Amphetamine, a stimulant drug, may induce paradoxical sleep deprivation syndrome (reduced REM sleep).
A greater propensity to acquire other mental health issues is linked to reduced amounts of REM sleep.
Inability to get enough rest may also raise the risk for additional problems, including irritability and restlessness, as well as cognitive difficulties such as learning and memory impairment.
The Symptoms, Withdrawal Effects of Repeated Meth Use
The symptoms of withdrawal from stimulants such as meth might include disruptions in sleep quality.
People withdrawing from meth may have sleeplessness or hypersomnia (sleeping for lengthy periods of time).
They may also have distressing and vivid dreams when they fall asleep. These side effects could last for weeks or longer, depending on the severity of the person’s stimulant abuse because of their meth addiction.
People who are withdrawing from meth frequently have trouble sleeping. In a significant number of individuals, snoring and other sleep disorders develop because of meth withdrawal.
People in recovery from meth use who maintain an active period show improved overall quality of sleep over time.
Research shows that many people may still have poorer sleep compared to normal individuals after four weeks without meth.
Methamphetamine Use and Sleep Problems
Studies have shown that people with stimulant use disorder are much more likely to be sleepy during the day, and also experience a poor quality of sleep.
The APA suggests there might be a relationship between chronic abuse of methamphetamines causing long-term damage to brain functions, which may affect an individual’s sleeping cycle.
Methamphetamine has been empirically demonstrated to produce significant alterations in the brain, possibly even resulting in permanent damage on various portions of it that affects their ability for good quality sleep at night too.
Furthermore, those who abuse methamphetamine on a frequent basis are more likely to develop serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. These individuals frequently have poor sleep habits and lower quality of sleep as a whole.
Sleep Disorders Treatment
Medications like benzodiazepines and mild stimulants can be used as short-term solutions for individuals with sleep disorders, but the preferred method is therapy.
This includes teaching skills to help people develop habits that facilitate sleep through applying techniques called sleep hygiene.
Herbs are not reliable or suitable for everyone, so they should only be considered after other remedies have been tried.
Physical exercise has also shown some improvement in enhancing an individual’s ability to fall asleep quickly at night without medications if continued on a regular basis over time, even though it may initially cause insomnia symptoms depending on their current level of fitness.
Individuals who suffer from chronic pain conditions may benefit by speaking with their physicians about taking prescription drugs such as medical marijuana, which affects anandamide levels in the brain naturally.
Alternative medicine such as yoga and meditation may also be beneficial for individuals with sleep deprivation because of their stimulant addiction.
Long-term sobriety, continued use of therapeutic strategies such as sleep hygiene and stress management techniques, and long-term commitment are all part of the best long-term solution for meth addiction’s effects on sleep.
Moderate exercise (if authorized by a doctor) and a healthy diet can also assist. Therapeutic treatments like hypnosis may also be beneficial in restoring some of the lost quality of one’s sleep.
What Is Sleep Hygiene, and How Do You Practice It?
The use of sleep hygiene, along with stress management and other techniques learned in therapy, can help an individual recover some level of a regular sleep cycle following long-term meth abuse.
Some things that may be helpful include:
Maintain a consistent routine of going to bed; Only go to bed when tired or it is time for you to fall asleep; Avoid napping during the day; Make sure your sleeping environment is conducive (for example, make sure there are no distractions like noise); Engage in daily habits which promote healthy sleep cycles.
Frequently Asked Questions About Meth Sleeping Disruptions
why does speed make me tired?
The euphoric rush that methamphetamine users experience is commonly known as a “rush”. This high can last anywhere from 16 to 30 minutes.
The more meth consumed, the longer the duration of the high will be (up to two hours). As this high wears off, it often leaves people feeling extremely tired or exhausted.
For some individuals, staying awake becomes increasingly difficult and they may fall asleep for periods lasting up to 12 hours at a time without any memory of what has occurred during these sleep episodes.
How Does Meth Impact Sleep Quality?
Meth typically causes an individual’s brain activity to shoot through the roof, which makes falling into deep REM sleep very unlikely.
Staying in Stage Two NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) also becomes unlikely. In fact, people on meth often report staying in a state of high arousal for hours and they may find themselves unable to fall asleep until these feelings subside.
These states can lead individuals to drift back into REM sleep but never allow the body or brain time to complete this stage of restorative sleep, which is why the quality of rest is typically poor during periods where methamphetamine use is prevalent.
Methamphetamine also affects the individual’s ability to reach Stage Four NREM (also known as Slow Wave Sleep).
This type of deep sleep helps with memory formation, so degrading its presence means that memories created before drug use will probably be impaired once an addict begins using again after extended periods without taking any form of methamphetamine whatsoever.
It can take up to two months for an individual to return to normal in this regard when they stop taking the drug.
How Much Meth is too Much?
All illegal usage of meth is too much. Typically, individuals who are abusing methamphetamine will not be able to control their usage once dependency has set in.
The body begins reacting differently without meth coursing through its veins, so there may come a point where sleep disturbances begin disrupting daily life more than was previously imaginable.
If someone you know exhibits signs of restless leg syndrome or unusual feelings of anxiousness at night accompanied by paranoia that prevents them from falling asleep, it might be time to intervene due to these indications suggesting dependence is rapidly advancing toward addiction.
Is it Safe to Take Sleep Aids While on Meth?
Short answer: It’s not recommended. Since methamphetamine affects the central nervous system, taking sleep aids can lead to adverse reactions, including heart disturbances and other complications that may result in death.
The safest course of action is typically avoiding caffeinated beverages altogether since they also cause rapid heart rates, which will exacerbate these side effects even more so than if no drugs were taken at all.
If you suspect someone you know has overdosed or combined substances without first consulting a doctor, call Poison Control immediately by dialing 800-222-1222 for help with what do to next.
With proper medical intervention, lives can be saved quickly when poison control is contacted right away after any kind of overdose occurs as a result of drug interactions with other substances.
How to administer help when a family member is overdosing on meth?
In case of a methamphetamine overdose, it’s important to know what steps you should take as soon as possible.
If someone is not breathing or if their heart has stopped beating, call 911 immediately and perform CPR until help arrives.
In the meantime, do your best to keep them awake by talking to them in a calm tone, asking questions that will increase their alertness level, such as where they are located at the moment and how many people are present with them.
Do your best not to yell, which can lead individuals into further paranoia, especially when drugs like methamphetamine have caused neurological changes within the brain, leading addicts down endless spirals without escape from these harrowing conditions.
What NOT To Give Someone Who Overdosed on Methamphetamine?
Remember to never give anyone who has overdosed on methamphetamine a stimulant in the form of caffeine, since it will increase their heart rate and further contribute to cardiac complications.
In fact, individuals who have been using meth for extended periods may typically be taking many drugs simultaneously so if they’ve combined substances without first consulting with medical professionals, chances are you’ll do more harm than good by trying to administer any type of substance at all.
Call Poison Control immediately after calling 911 so that victims can receive treatment as quickly as possible, which is especially important when lives are hanging in the balance.
What are some ways to help someone who is abusing meth?
Once someone has become addicted to methamphetamine, it’s important that they seek professional help immediately after recognizing these signs in themselves or others.
If you know someone who is suffering from meth addiction, there are many types of treatment available, so do your research today and see what options may be right for them.
Unfortunately, not all rehab centers have the best track record, nor will every type of program work well with certain personality traits, which is why finding one that caters specifically to their individual needs can make a significant difference in long-term success.