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Self-Help for Insomnia & Sleep Deprivation

A Self-Help Workbook by Lucinda Sykes, M.D.

Chapter 6

Other Substances that Cause Sleep Problems


Sleep Problems Linked to Smoking

Several studies have linked smoking to sleep problems. You will likely get better sleep if you stop smoking.

If you would like to quit smoking but think you can’t, keep trying. Studies show that people who keep trying to quit eventually do so. Your doctor can support you.

If you give up smoking, don’t be surprised if sleep problems continue (or even worsen) for several weeks. Smoking makes the body dependent on the chemicals of tobacco smoke, so it takes time for your body to readjust after you quit.

If you are unable to quit smoking right now, you might still sleep better if you don’t smoke during the 4 hours before bedtime.

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Sleep Problems Caused by “Street” Drugs

Cocaine, amphetamines, hallucinogens and other psychoactive “street drugs” tend to interfere with the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Depending on sensitivity, a single use can cause short-term sleep problems (up to several days). If you’re a frequent user, your body may require several weeks to rebalance after you stop.

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Sleep Problems Caused by Medications

Many prescription and nonprescription medications affect sleep -- not just medications that contain caffeine. Check the product information that comes with your medication or natural remedy. Are sleep problems listed as a potential side-effect? (Be sure to read the package insert as well as package labels.)

Sometimes the combination of two or more medications causes sleep problems. Discuss this possibility with your doctor. Consider that “natural” remedies (such as kava) can affect sleep too.

If you take some medications “as needed”, watch your sleep diary to see if you have trouble sleeping on nights after you take the medication.

Urinary frequency disturbs sleep. If your medications increase urination, you may need to avoid them later in the day. Discuss this with your doctor.

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Note: This workbook of “Better Sleep Tips” is included with purchase of the Sleep Meditation CD.

Chapter Selection -> 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8-20   Sleep Meditation CD

sleep meditation cd
  • a self-help CD for people who have trouble sleeping
  • easy to follow even if you’ve never meditated before
  • helps occasional and chronic sleeplessness
  • listen to a sample audio clip

CAUTION:“Self Help for Insomnia” is an educational site about adult insomnia & sleep deprivation. This site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. The site provides general information that might not apply to your particular sleep problem.

If you have chronic trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. Discuss this site’s information & CD with your doctor to decide what’s appropriate for you.

Be sure to read Chapter 2: Sleep Disorders & Other Medical Causes of Lack of Sleep.

Copyright ©2007 Lucinda Sykes
Permission granted for personal, non-commercial use
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