Therefore, "treating sleep disturbance in early recovery may have considerable impact on maintenance of sobriety and quality of life," according to study co-author Nicholas Rosenlicht from the University of San Francisco in the US.

The study suggests that effective treatment of sleep disturbance may lower risk of drug and alcohol relapse.

While insomnia may be linked with a higher risk of alcohol-related problems and relapse, the association may run in the other direction as well - population studies report people with sleep disturbance are more likely to be at risk of developing addiction.

"Treatment of insomnia after abstinence represents an important treatment target and an integral part of any recovery plan," Rosenlicht concluded.

The review is accompanied by a clinical case discussion about effective use of behavioural treatment of a veteran with alcohol dependence and insomnia.The study appeared in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.


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