Getting the Right Sleep in Drug and Alcohol Recovery
Sleep is vital for the proper function of the body. In drug and alcohol recovery, it may be hard to receive the correct amount of sleep the body needs. This may be caused by withdrawal symptoms and specific changes in your body as it adapts to the change of sobriety. Lack of sleep increases the risk of stress, anxiety, and even depression. The symptoms of lack of sleep can actually cause an individual to relapse, so getting the proper amount of sleep in drug and alcohol recovery is extremely important.
Reasons for Sleep Problems in those Recovering from Addiction
- Drugs or alcohol could have been used as an aid to fall or stay asleep, and it may take the body some time to get back to a constant and normal sleep pattern.
- Withdrawal symptoms can be frustrating and painful, making it difficult to get to or fall asleep.
- Those in recovery are often anxious or nervous about the future and change, so it is harder to fall and stay asleep.
Why is Sleep So Important?
Sleep is so important because of the symptoms that occur in its absence and the bountiful list of benefits it brings to the mind, body, and psyche. Lack of sleep increases levels of stress, promotes anxiety, and can even lead to depression. Skipping sleep only for one night can cause lapses in judgment in the following days. Additionally, getting the right amount of sleep keeps the mind sharp and functioning properly, as well as reduces stress levels. Since stress is one of the main and most common causes of relapse in early recovery, it is of critical importance that it is attained each and every night in recovery.
Fighting Sleeplessness in Drug and Alcohol Recovery
There are a few techniques and methods that you can utilize if you find yourself not getting the proper sleep during your recovery journey. Firstly, create a sleep schedule and make sure that you stick to it daily. This will ensure that you are always getting the proper amount of sleep nightly. Next, make sure your sleep environment is as comfortable as possible. Remove technology so that you are not distracted before going to sleep. Your body should recognize your bed as a place for rest, so only use it for that specific purpose. Your body temperature lowers as you sleep, so it may be a good idea to sleep in an environment that is a bit colder than you are used to. This will help your body recognize that it is time for rest and help you to fall asleep faster and easier. Lastly, if you do find yourself having trouble sleeping, it is okay to get up and drink or eat something to help you go to sleep. Many find that hot liquids soothe the body and prepare it for sleep. Be sure to try to go back to sleep after being awake for about 20 minutes. Keep trying to sleep until you find something that works for you.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to getting the proper sleep you need during drug and alcohol recovery is managing your stress. Relaxation techniques can help reduce stress in those that find stress is a factor for why they aren’t sleeping properly. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are all great ways to reduce stress.