Opioid Withdrawal Insomnia: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

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Many people get opioid withdrawal insomnia. It is one of the most common complaints from people undergoing this process. Self-care steps and medications can help a lot with managing these symptoms.

This guide highlights the signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal and insomnia. It also provides information on how to connect with effective treatment options.

If you or a loved one need treatment for opioid addiction, call our friendly recovery specialists today at 877-679-2132.

What Is Opioid Withdrawal Insomnia?

Along with the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal, many people also experience insomnia from opioid withdrawal. This is called opioid-induced insomnia. People going through withdrawal often have trouble sleeping, feel drowsy during the day, and wake up frequently during the night.

Insomnia happens during withdrawal from opioids because the body is trying to get back to a normal sleep pattern. Opioid use can disrupt the sleep cycle, reducing REM sleep and changing other sleep stages. Also, many people using opioids do not follow healthy sleep habits, making it harder to adjust to a routine.

Because of this, it can take a long time to figure out how to sleep well during withdrawal and ongoing recovery. Some people may have sleep problems for months.

Signs of Opioid Withdrawal Insomnia

Opioid withdrawal can cause many sleep problems. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Difficulty falling asleep: One of the first signs is trouble falling asleep at night. You might find yourself tossing and turning for hours.
  • Frequent waking: You may wake up several times during the night, making it hard to get a full night’s sleep.
  • Restlessness: Feeling restless and unable to stay still can keep you awake. This includes tossing and turning in bed and feeling uncomfortable.
  • Waking up early: Another sign is waking up very early in the morning and being unable to fall back asleep.
  • Trouble staying asleep: You might find it challenging to stay asleep for long periods, leading to fragmented sleep.
A man sits with his head in his hands to depicting insomnia from opioid withdrawal

Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal Insomnia

Here are some symptoms that often come with opioid withdrawal insomnia:

  • Daytime drowsiness: When you don’t sleep well at night, you can feel tired during the day. This can make it hard to stay awake and alert.
  • Irritability: Lack of sleep can make you feel easily annoyed or upset. Small things that didn’t bother you before might seem overwhelming.
  • Difficulty concentrating: You may struggle to focus on tasks or think clearly when you’re not getting enough sleep. This might affect your schoolwork, job, or daily activities.
  • Low energy: You might feel exhausted and have low energy levels, making it difficult to complete everyday tasks or engage in physical activities.
  • Mood swings: Experiencing sudden changes in mood, such as feeling happy one moment and sad the next, can result from poor sleep.
  • Anxiety and depression: Insomnia can increase feelings of anxiety and depression, making withdrawal even more challenging.

Opioid Withdrawal Insomnia Treatment

Dealing with insomnia during opioid withdrawal can be tough, but there are effective treatments to help you through it. Here’s what you can do:


MAT (medication-assisted treatment) is the first line of treatment for opioid withdrawal and opioid use disorder (opioid addiction). Using medications during the acute withdrawal period helps reduce and manage all the symptoms of withdrawal, including insomnia. These medications can stabilize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of opioids, and relieve cravings. This makes it easier to sleep and supports your overall recovery process.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep is vital for many reasons, supporting your immune system, learning, and memory. Insomnia can be very taxing on both your body and mind. For someone recovering from long-term drug use, insomnia can make the process even harder. Good sleep is essential for healing and making progress in your recovery.

Many people struggling with addiction have irregular sleep schedules, like staying up late and sleeping during the day. This can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which regulates sleep. When recovering, it’s important to reset your internal clock. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps your body get used to a new, healthier routine.

Even with a regular sleep schedule, your body might need help adjusting. Develop a relaxing pre-sleep routine. Activities like taking a warm bath, reading a book, listening to calming music, drinking decaffeinated tea, or meditating can signal your body that it’s time for bed. This can make falling asleep easier.

Avoid caffeine and other stimulants

Caffeine is a stimulant that can disrupt your sleep schedule. Avoid coffee, soda, energy drinks, and tea, especially in the afternoon and evening. Reducing caffeine intake can help your body adjust to a new sleep pattern more effectively.

Don’t take naps

Feeling tired during the day and wanting to nap is common during withdrawal. However, napping can interfere with your circadian rhythm and make it more difficult to sleep at night. Instead of napping, stay active by walking or engaging in light activities. This will help you get a better night’s rest.

Practice healthy habits

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can improve your sleep quality. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are key. Exercise can reduce stress and boost your mood, making sleep easier. Eating a healthy diet helps maintain stable energy levels and avoids the crashes that junk food can cause.

See a doctor

If you’re still struggling with insomnia despite trying these tips, it might be time to see a doctor. You could have a sleep disorder or another underlying issue that needs professional attention. A specialist can provide further guidance and treatment options to help you manage your sleep problems.

ohio recovery centers facility from curb view, representing opioid withdrawal insomnia treatment

Get Treatment for Opioid Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

We can help diagnose and treat opioid addictions at Ohio Recovery Centers. We deliver outpatient treatment so you can get effective addiction treatment while keeping up at home, work, and school. If you need more support, we also offer more intensive programs.

Our Cincinnati rehab provides treatment customized to meet individual needs. Access medications, talk therapy, family therapy, and counseling to help you stop using opioids long-term.

Call out recovery experts to begin your recovery from opioid addiction at 877-679-2132.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn