Day 3 without METH: Sleep, and let your body take that long overdue rest

Longterm meth addicts likely developed the ability to eat and to “sleep” even while they were high. The problem, which many don’t realize, is that you’re not actually getting quality rest.

I was one of those meth users who could shoot up the drug into my veins and within a couple hours I’d be able to go to “sleep.” Except I’d sleep for three to five hours, and just often enough (maybe once every day-and-a-half) so I felt charged to get up and to use again.

“With prolonged meth use comes poor sleep patterns, leading to negative effects on mental health,” an article in the Spring Hill Recovery Center, reviewed by Dr. David Sugar, in Massachusetts states. Hence the neighborhood meth addict who talks to himself, or swears she hears voices, or who always thinks someone is out to get them, or sleep with their other half.

A 2022 American study published by the Frontiers in Neuroscience journal and posted in the National Institutes of Health found that monkey subjects injected with meth in the morning were able to sleep by the evening, but for the following three days their sleep quality was severely affected. The study found a decrease in REM sleep, which stands for rapid eye movement. You have two patterns of sleep when you fall asleep, according to Cleveland Clinic: REM and non-REM sleep.

“There are three NREM stages,” the Cleveland Clinic article states, continuing, “When you fall asleep, you typically enter NREM stage 1 and then cycle between NREM stages 2 and 3. After that, you go into REM sleep and start dreaming. After the first REM cycle, you start a new sleep cycle and go back into stage 1 or 2, and the cycle starts over. One cycle normally takes about 90 to 120 minutes before another begins. Most people go through four or five cycles per night (assuming they get a full eight hours of sleep).”

Longterm meth users don’t get the 6 to 8 hours of quality sleep needed for REM to happen. Thus, meth users suffer sleep deprivation. This is where we can all get an education about why many meth users look, talk, walk, and do crazy things. The following is from Cleveland Clinic:


Why is sleep important, and what are the effects of lack of sleep?

To understand why sleep is important, look no further than the effects of a lack of sleep. Many things can affect how much or how well you sleep. Not sleeping enough can cause the following short-term effects:

  • Slowed reflexes.
  • Trouble thinking or concentrating.
  • Mood effects, including feeling irritable, depressed or anxious.
  • Headaches.
  • Decreased immune system effectiveness and getting sick more often.
  • Metabolism problems and a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • Feelings of fatigue or exhaustion.

If you go for too long without enough sleep, your body’s need for sleep will become more and more disruptive. That can cause:

  • Microsleeps: These are brief moments where your brain falls asleep only to snap back awake again. They’re especially dangerous if they happen while you’re driving, using tools or machinery, or doing something that requires your full attention.
  • Hand tremors: Your nervous system will have trouble regulating muscle movements and muscle tone if you go too long without sleep.
  • Hallucinations: Sleep deprivation can disrupt your brain’s ability to process information about and understand the world around you. That can cause you to see, hear or feel things that aren’t there.
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior: Lack of sleep can impair the parts of your brain responsible for self-control and judgment.


So, if you’ve made it to Day 3 of sobriety from meth use, here is something to know, and advice to take:

  1. You’re very likely going to fall into a deep slumber today and for the next few days, waking only to use the restroom and perhaps to drink water. You may even have some energy to hold yourself up if there’s a cooked meal in front of you. Otherwise, once you’re in this slumber, you will be so weak and fatigue, even turning your body in bed will feel like a heavy burden.
  2. Don’t fight this slumber.


Not only is this dangerous and a shock to your resting and worn heart, but you will have wasted this achievement of your first few days sober.

This slumber is exactly what you need in order to move out of the acute phase of withdrawal. When you wake up, you will want to use again, but the pangs very likely will not be as severe as the first three days.

If you are the lone caretaker of minors or someone with a disability, it’s important you find someone you trust to take your place for at least three days. You will be out of commission and will not be able to care for them. If you’re scheduled to check into probation over the next three days, call your probation officer or send the probation office an email letting them know what is happening so a judge doesn’t issue a warrant for your arrest thinking you’ve just defied the court. You’ll absolutely be required to test when you get up, but by that time a week will have passed and the meth should have metabolized. That’s an awesome story to tell the judge in whatever case you’re facing.

If you have to work over the next three days, call out sick.

Hopefully, you’ll be awake in time for Easter Sunday Mass.

Get some rest, my friend. You and your body need it. You deserve it after coming this far on the road to recovery. You’re almost through with the first week. You just need to fall asleep so you can breeze through these last days. Good night, and sweet dreams.

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