Most patients who are prescribed oxycodone have many questions about its side effects, including, does oxycodone make you sleepy?
As a semi-synthetic opioid, oxycodone is partially human-made. It is produced by synthesizing thebaine, an alkaloid found in poppy plants, which enhances its pain-relieving effects. As a result, oxycodone works faster and stronger than many other opioids. Needless to say, it is a powerful painkiller, but you should also be aware of the risks and side effects associated with its use.
This article will cover everything you need to know about this substance and its side effects, including how it affects sleep.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a potent opioid that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It comes in both immediate-release and extended-release oral tablets and is commonly prescribed when other treatments do not suffice.
Oxycodone is marketed and sold under a variety of brand names, including OxyContin® and Roxicodone®. It is also an active ingredient in several prescription painkillers, such as Percocet®.
Like other types of opioids, oxycodone reduces the sensation of pain by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system and thus stopping the brain from receiving pain signals from the body. Besides alleviating pain, oxycodone can also induce euphoria, which increases the risk of opioid abuse and dependence.
Due to its addictive properties, oxycodone should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor and is typically not recommended for patients experiencing chronic pain.
While oxycodone hydrochloride is highly effective as a pain reliever, it also comes with many side effects, including low blood pressure and central nervous system (CNS) depression. It is important to talk with your doctor about these side effects, as some increase the risk of serious or life-threatening problems, such as trouble breathing or severe drowsiness.
How Does Oxycodone Affect Sleep?
Since oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant, one of its most prominent side effects is severe drowsiness and fatigue. Besides impairing your ability to perform certain daily tasks, such as safely driving a car, these effects can also further increase the risk of developing an oxycodone addiction.
Given that pain often prevents people from getting adequate sleep, some patients might use oxycodone not only as a painkiller but also as a sleep aid. It isn’t uncommon for people to abuse oxycodone by taking it without medical supervision to help them sleep and relax, even after they no longer need the medication to treat the pain.
Although oxycodone does make you sleepy and could help you fall asleep faster, it affects the duration and quality of both non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In other words, it decreases your sleep quality. Since your body and brain can’t properly recharge without deep sleep, you may wake up feeling tired, lethargic, and moody.
That being said, drowsiness isn’t the only sleep-related side effect that oxycodone can induce. Some people may suffer from insomnia and other sleep disturbances after taking it. Unfortunately, besides weakening your immune system, not getting enough quality sleep can also alter your perception of pain, making you more sensitive to it.
Can Oxycodone Cause Sleep Disorders?
As mentioned above, although oxycodone can make you sleepy, it can also cause sleep disturbances.
Some of the most common sleep disorders oxycodone users experience include:
- Insomnia. Insomnia is a common side effect of opioid painkillers, including oxycodone, which makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep. Oxycodone users are at a heightened risk of sleeplessness, as research shows that insomnia is over 40% more prevalent among opioid users than those who do not use opioids.
- Parasomnia. Besides causing insomnia, oxycodone can induce parasomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal behaviors and experiences (e.g., sleep paralysis, sleepwalking, etc.) that occur during sleep.
- Hypersomnia. Since oxycodone often prevents people from getting sufficient sleep, it can lead to hypersomnia, otherwise known as excessive daytime sleepiness. Being extremely sleepy during the day can have a negative impact on your work, relationships, mental well-being, and more.
- Sleep-disordered breathing. Oxycodone can cause sleep-disordered breathing, which encompasses sleep apnea, hypopnea, and other similar conditions that are characterized by abnormal breathing patterns during sleep.
- Mixed sleep disorders. Mixed sleep disorders refer to a combination of several sleep disorders. For example, oxycodone users who experience night terrors (parasomnia) may develop excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleep disorders can wreak havoc on your life, affecting both personal and professional matters. If you take oxycodone and experience difficulty sleeping, a strong urge to sleep during the day, disturbed sleep, or other similar symptoms, consider seeking help from a medical professional.
How to Manage Oxycodone-Induced Sleep Disorders
Oxycodone-induced sleeping disorders can make it difficult to lead a happy and healthy life. While you should always seek medical help to treat these conditions, you can also improve your sleep quality by:
- Exercising regularly. If you’re experiencing insomnia, regular workouts can help you fall asleep faster. However, if you prefer working out in the evening, consider opting for light exercises such as walking or yoga, as heavy physical activity before bedtime can also cause sleeplessness.
- Improving your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene, or good sleep habits, is key to getting better sleep. Some things you might want to do are consistently go to sleep and wake up at the same time, avoid using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before sleep, and keep your bedroom well-ventilated.
- Adopting healthy eating habits. Nutrition is another aspect you shouldn’t ignore if you’re looking to improve the quality of your sleep. To get good quality sleep, consider removing processed carbohydrates, saturated fats, and sugar from your diet. Also, avoid having large meals before bedtime.
- Reducing alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine consumption. Nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine have stimulating effects that may make it difficult to fall or stay asleep. For this reason, you should avoid consuming these substances 3–6 hours before sleep.
- Not staying in bed if you can’t sleep. If you can’t fall asleep within 20–30 minutes, leave your bed. Instead, find an activity that helps you relax (e.g., reading or knitting) and return to bed once you feel sleepy.
Other Side Effects of Oxycodone
Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that, like most pain medications, has the potential for addiction. Telling your doctor about any side effects you are experiencing while taking this medication is very important, especially if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms or other serious issues.
Suddenly stopping oxycodone may lead to feeling sick, which is a sign that physical dependence has developed. Typically, this also means that the patient experiencing opioid withdrawal will require medical attention.
Aside from the above-mentioned sleep problems, the most common side effects of oxycodone are:
- Abdominal pain
- Respiratory depression
- Low blood pressure
- Memory impairment
- Slow breathing
- Digestive problems
- CNS depression
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes
ANR Opioid Dependence Treatment
Oftentimes, oxycodone users who attempt to stop taking the medication experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can lead to relapse and overdose. Because of this, anyone looking to quit oxycodone should seek proper treatment, and there’s no better option to get rid of this problem than Accelerated Neuro-Regulation (ANR).
The ANR treatment is the safest and most effective treatment for oxycodone addiction or any other type of opioid dependence. It is the only available treatment that returns your brain to a pre-addiction state, allowing you to recover from oxycodone dependence permanently.
Unlike other treatments, the ANR treatment doesn’t involve the use of substitute opioids, such as methadone, that can have similar side effects to oxycodone. Instead, the ANR treatment achieves long-term results by reducing the production of opioid receptors and stimulating the production of endorphins to reverse the negative effects opioids have on the brain.
By addressing the underlying cause of opioid dependence, this groundbreaking treatment eliminates the risk of relapse. What’s more, although it ensures long-term recovery from opioids, the usual hospital stay for ANR treatment is just 36 hours.
To this day, the ANR Clinic has helped over 24,000 patients reclaim their lives. You can find ANR Centers that meet the highest quality, customer care, and safety standards all over the world – in Europe, North America, and South America.
In short, the answer to the question “Does oxycodone make you sleepy?” is yes, it does, as drowsiness is among the most common side effects of this medication. That said, some people experience sleep disturbances while taking oxycodone.
Before you go, let’s reiterate the key points we covered in this article:
- Oxycodone is an opioid used for pain relief that can be very addictive.
- Although oxycodone causes sleepiness, it reduces the quality of sleep by shortening the duration of NREM and REM sleep stages.
- Oxycodone can cause several sleep disorders, including insomnia, parasomnia, and hypersomnia.
- Other side effects of oxycodone include constipation, vomiting, respiratory depression, headaches, and more.
- The ANR treatment is a groundbreaking opioid dependence treatment that can help you permanently come off oxycodone by restoring your brain to its pre-addiction state.
Dr. Waismann identified the biological roots of opioid dependency, Since then he has successfully treated more than 24,000 patients worldwide that are struggling with opioid addiction.
Throughout his career, he has lectured and educated health professionals in dozens of countries around the world to this day.