Cocaine & Sleep: How Cocaine Use Affects Sleep

Cocaine is the most well-known party drug. It is formally classified as a stimulant, meaning it increases your energy and alertness. So how is it possible that coke could make you tired and sleepy?

The fact is, cocaine (and crack) can make you tired. In this article, we will dig into the specific ways that this can happen, including:

  • Draining your body and brain.
  • Withdrawal.
  • Crashing.
  • Long-term sleep deprivation.

The Effects of Cocaine on Sleep

Cocaine can make you tired, but that doesn’t mean that its direct effects include sleepiness. Like other stimulants, coke actually makes you feel alert and awake. This, as well as the euphoric ‘rush’ that many users feel, is why people take the drug at parties and clubs.

But all this energy does not come without a cost: Cocaine abuse can cause sleep effects including insomnia and restlessness.

One study that investigated how cocaine affects the sleep cycles of rats showed that while sleep was decreased in the initial hours after taking the drug, it increased just a few hours later. In other words, cocaine makes you alert and awake at first, but that period is followed by a crash shortly afterward.

Why Does Cocaine Cause Tiredness?

So, what is going on here? Why does cocaine make rats (and people) more tired after the initial period of energy? The truth is, people can feel tired after cocaine use for many different reasons. Usually, it is a combination of multiple factors.

Cocaine can make you tired for the following reasons:


Crashing is a common occurrence after using drugs, especially ones that are stimulating. Cocaine, meth, and even caffeine can result in a crash! That intense feeling of lethargy and yawning that you feel around 2 p.m., just as your morning coffee starts to wear off, is the result of a caffeine crash.

Cocaine use can have a similar, but even more intense effect. The crash after cocaine can last much longer than the high itself.

Body Recovery

Drug use takes a toll on your body. Cocaine’s effects include increased heart rate, restlessness, increased blood pressure, and hyperactivity. While you’re high, it is unlikely that you will notice the effect this is having on your body.

Once you crash from cocaine, you begin to feel how exhausted your body is from the drug’s effects. This is another way that coke can make you tired and sleepy.

Why Does Crack Cocaine Cause Sleepiness?

Crack cocaine is made by mixing ammonia or baking soda with cocaine. This results in small white ‘rocks’ which are smoked by users. Crack is a particularly addictive form of cocaine. It can also make users more sleepy. In fact, part of the reason that crack is so addictive is because of how sleepy it makes you:

The ‘Crack Crash’

Crack cocaine gives users a very intense, short high. Addicts will often use the drug for several days straight. Crack cocaine can result in one of the most intense crash periods of any drug.

Because users feel so tired and depleted after the initial high of smoking crack wears off, they usually want to smoke more. This pattern makes drugs like crack cocaine extremely addictive. Instead of falling asleep, many users choose to use more of the drug and stay awake for long periods of time.

Why Does Crack Cocaine Cause Tiredness?

There are also ways that long-term crack cocaine abuse can cause intense chronic tiredness. The two main long-term effects of crack cocaine that can make you tired are withdrawal and sleep deprivation.


Withdrawal from crack cocaine happens when a regular user stops taking the drug. One of the symptoms of withdrawal from the crack is fatigue. The tiredness you feel during cocaine or crack withdrawal is your body’s way of trying to return to a state of balance after spending so much time in a stimulated state.

Sleep Deprivation

Because it is a stimulant, crack cocaine makes you feel very alert and awake. People who abuse this drug sometimes take it almost constantly, only stopping when they run out or need to sleep for a few hours. Over the course of weeks or months, this can cause a huge lack of sleep.

For this reason, any time a long-term crack cocaine user is not high, they usually feel very tired. Unfortunately, this fatigue often makes crack addicts seek out more of the drug.

Get Treatment for Cocaine Abuse

Addiction to cocaine is serious. If you are scanning the internet for answers about the drug’s effects, it might be time to get help. Fortunately, treatment is widely available and very effective.

When you visit a rehab center to get help with your cocaine addiction, your recovery plan might include:

  • Therapy: One-on-one talk therapy is an effective way of learning about and addressing the underlying causes of your drug abuse.
  • Group Meetings: Group meetings and 12-step programs are a fantastic way to surround yourself with like-minded individuals and learn from your peers.
  • Residential Living: Living at a rehab center has many benefits. Fully immersing yourself in the recovery lifestyle gives you space from your addiction and time to heal.

Call Spring Hill Recovery today to learn about your options for cocaine addiction treatment. One call could turn your life around!


Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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