Morphine and Sleep Disorders

Morphine and Sleep Disorders

Morphine is a drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. Along with heroin and other opiate analogues, it is often prescribed for people with cancer or terminal illnesses. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Once there, it reduces both perceptions of and emotional responses to pain.

Morphine is a highly potent drug. When properly administered through a healthcare provider, it is safe and helpful. When abused, it can trigger the onset of an addiction quickly. The euphoria it creates causes the brain to rewire neural pathways and reinforce drug-use behaviors. That is why recovery and long-term sobriety are nearly impossible to achieve without professional treatment.

Some people become addicted to morphine after a single use. Others become dependent more slowly. Signs of morphine addiction include the following:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Paranoia
  • Vomiting

Addiction to morphine is a serious condition that requires medical help. Most individuals who struggle with morphine abuse also receive long-term treatment and replacement therapy to help them avoid relapse.

Like many addictions that create neurological changes, morphine abuse is easier to overcome during its early stages. It is never too soon to get help.

The Connection between Morphine and Sleep Problems

In addition to being highly addictive, morphine can cause sleep disorders. It creates conditions that lead to brief pauses in breathing, also called sleep apnea. While a few hours of poor sleep can have minimal negative impacts, losing an entire night of rest can stress the area of the brain that cues danger, the amygdala. Fight or flight reflexes then kick in and may result in the following:

  • Lowered memory capacity
  • Diminished speech control
  • Increased build up of cortisol levels
  • Decreased concentration

Many people have trouble sleeping from time to time. Individuals who suffer from insomnia, however, experience the following symptoms at least three times per week for a minimum of one month:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Nonrestorative sleep

Insomnia is a disorder of hyperarousal that often manifests as a state of hypervigilance and anxiety.  Individuals who struggle to “turn off their brains” at night may also be easily triggered to ruminate on negative thoughts that subsequently heighten their sense of alertness. Physical symptoms may include the following:

  • High metabolic rate
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Endocrine problems

Morphine addiction and insomnia are often comorbid conditions. In order to get sober, both issues must be treated. The best way to maximize the chances of a full recovery is to seek professional help.

Getting Help for Morphine Addiction

If you or someone you love suffers from addiction to morphine, we can help. Admissions coordinators are available at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to guide you to a drug-free life. Don’t go it alone when help is just one phone call away.