Crosstalk between Sleep Disturbance and Opioid Use Disorder: A Narrative Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


  • Hamid Reza Fathi
  • Ali Yoonessi
  • Ali Khatibi
  • Fariborz Rezaeitalab
  • Amir Rezaei-Ardani

External organisations

  • Department of Anatomical Science and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. ; Anatomical Sciences Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Tehran, Iran. ; Neuroscience Research Center, Shahid Beheshi University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Loughborough University
  • Mashhad University of Medical Sciences


Recent studies have revealed a growing number of patients affected by opioid use disorders (OUDs). Comorbid disorders are suspected to increase the risk of opioid-related adverse effects or treatment failure. The correlation of opioid use with sleep disturbances has been reported in many different studies and suggested to be linked to the brain regions involved in reward processing. This narrative review was intended to discuss the most recent developments in our understanding of the intricate interaction between sleep disturbance and OUD. In addition, in this study, the effects of sleep problems on the occurrence of unpleasant consequences in addiction management, such as craving and relapse in OCD patients, were highlighted. It has been shown that drug use may trigger the induction of sleep disturbances, and those suffering from difficulties in sleeping are prone to relapse to drug use, including opioids. Moreover, pharmaceutical sleep aids are likely to interfere with opiate use.

Bibliographic note

© 2020 Kerman University of Medical Sciences.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-158
Number of pages19
JournalAddiction & health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020