Sleep can be a tricky thing; whether it’s falling asleep, staying asleep, being comfortable in bed, or dealing with constant fatigue. In this blogpost, we’ll cover the basics of sleep neurobiology, tips, common sleep disorders, over the counter & herbal remedies that may encourage better sleep, and additional online resources to check out.
Why is sleep important?
- Your body repairs its cells during sleep, important for wound healing, cellular regeneration, etc.
- Digestion and metabolism are affected by sleep.
- Your brain consolidates information and memories.
- People who are deprived of sleep are at a significantly higher risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and stroke.
- Too little sleep, or poor quality sleep can aggravate gastrointestinal disorders and mental health issues.
What happens when we sleep? Continue reading
In this second part of our series on ADHD and substance use (read Part 1 here), we will be discussing the neurological aspects of ADHD. Harm reduction exists in many facets of life, and can take on many forms. Here at Trip! Project, one of the ways we practice harm reduction is through the spreading of knowledge and awareness of various substances, and phenomena related to taking/using these substances. The idea behind this is that knowledge is power! Having an awareness and understanding of the substances we take and the ways in which they interact with our brains is one way to make more informed and hopefully safer choices when it comes to substance use. The same can be said about our own brain chemistry and structure! Knowing how or why we experience the things we do can help us make informed choices and take better care of our brains.
This next installment aims to share some of the neurological aspects of ADHD to inform not only why those of us with ADHD gravitate towards the substances we do, but also to undo some of the shame and stigma associated with those habits. Some of these habits are wired into us on a neurological level! That’s not to say we have no control over our decisions or choices. Understanding why we make certain choices can go a long way in overcoming the shame many of us feel around our actions and impulses. Sometimes we all need a little reminder not to stigmatise the way that different brains operate, and to remember that trying to make changes to your mental wiring (if that’s what you want for yourself) can be incredibly challenging! So, with that, we hope to share some info on what specifically is happening on a neurological level when it comes to the ADHD experience.
Xannies, tictacs, bars, oh my! All the ins and outs of benzodiazepines (benzos) and z-drugs! Commonly used prescription drugs for anxiety and insomnia, and are also used recreationally without a prescription. Even when they’re prescribed, they still have unique risks! Benzos have been infiltrating the illicit drug trade, increasing the risk of overdose and uncomfortable side effects. This piece covers the differences, dosages and routes of administration and other harm reduction strategies to keep you and your friends as safe as possible.
***Please note that this is an informational overview on the interactions between SSRI and SNRI medications with recreational substances. You should always tell your doctor what recreational substances you use when considering treatments for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. There may be additional risks and side effects not listed here!***
SSRI and SNRI?
SSRI’s (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) and SNRI’s (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Re-uptake inhibitors) are widely known antidepressant medications that are also prescribed for many other conditions. They can be prescribed by your doctor for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fibromyalgia and nerve pain syndromes, and even conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and premature ejaculation. Because they are prescribed for a wide variety of conditions, some folks may not be aware that they are taking antidepressant medications! This is important because there are significant risks associated with taking SSRI/SNRI medications and using recreational drugs, which is why you should always ask your doctor or other healthcare professional if there are any interactions between the drugs you use and the drugs they give you – every time! Even after talking to your doctor, it’s a good idea to take charge of your health and do your own research (such as reading this blog!)