When you go to sleep, your brain goes to work flushing out toxins and recharging your internal batteries. Getting a good night’s sleep will help you feel refreshed and able to tackle the day’s challenges. But proper sleep and addiction recovery work hand-in-hand to offer something more: a chance at lifelong sobriety.
If you’re fighting a drug or alcohol addiction, a poor sleep routine can set your recovery back. Let’s look at the connection between sleep and addiction recovery and 5 tips to improve your sleep routine tonight.
Sleep and addiction recovery
Whether we’re recovering from addiction or not, sleep serves a critical role in your overall health and wellness. Sleep debt can cause short-term consequences such as:
- shifts in your judgment
- changes in your mood
- a decrease in your ability to learn and retain information
- an increase in your risk of serious accidents and injury
It can also cause long-term consequences such as “a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even early mortality.”
This world turns all hours of the day and night. Many of us have work, social or family obligations that leave us feeling as if we need to turn at all of those hours too. But when we burn the candle at both ends and deprive our bodies from a proper bedtime routine, we put ourselves at risk.
Your need for restful sleep is compounded when you are fighting an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Overcoming sleep issues and developing strong sleeping habits are essential to providing your body with what it needs. They can also help you sure you move past early recovery and into long-term recovery. Sleep debt and addiction often go hand-in-hand: those battling addiction are 5 to 10 times more likely to have sleep disorders.
It can be challenging, but it is far from impossible. Here are 5 tips to help you improve your sleep hygiene as you claim your recovery from drugs and alcohol:
Tip #1: Be honest and ask for support
When fighting addiction, it’s important to remember that it often takes a village to succeed. Lean on your loved ones during this time. Talk to them about not only your struggles with substance abuse but also how that struggle has impacted your sleep pattern.
Have a friend spend a few nights with you to help you get through particularly tough times. Ask your family to help you stay focused. Reach out to support groups and treatment centers in your area for professional help.
Tip #2: Develop a consistent sleep schedule
Prioritize yourself and your need for restful sleep. Choose a sleep schedule that allows you time to enjoy activities and fulfill obligations, but that focuses on your health and recovery. Follow your chosen sleep schedule every day. This includes weekends or other days you may be tempted to stay up later. Adhering to a healthy sleep schedule helps you train your mind and your body. It can also help you develop the consistency needed to tackle other parts of your treatment plan.
If you need a nap some days, limit them to 20-30 minutes. Avoid relying on them regularly. Try not to take them too late in the day, as that can make it more difficult to follow your sleep pattern at night.
Before calling it a night, give your brain the treat of a calming routine. You might practice yoga at your local studio or try out mediation. If you’re looking for a new way to relax, you might even seek out float pods or enjoy a session of massage therapy.
Tip #3: Manage your diet and exercise routine
Eating a nutrient dense diet promotes better sleep. Rely on foods that target your overall health, not foods that merely provide comfort. Stay hydrated with plenty of water. Limit or avoid caffeine. Avoid eating heavy meals right before your bedtime.
Make sure you tend to your exercise routine as well. By leaning on physical activity, you can expend your energy and prepare your body for restful sleep all while improving your overall health as well.
Tip #4: Avoid using sleep aids
If may be tempting to use natural sleep aids such as melatonin to kickstart a new sleep routine, but please avoid doing so before taking to your healthcare team. Those who are prone to addictive behaviors may struggle in their recovery even with natural substances.
Tip #5: Invest in your sleep environment
Invest in your recovery by investing in a space that encourages restful sleep. Keep your space cool and dark with blackout curtains. Don’t watch TV or work on your laptop in bed. Make sure you have a mattress that allows you to relax and blankets that keep you comfortable at night. Treat yourself to a nice eye mask or a sound machine that prompts your mind to let go and relax.
We can help you
At The Blackberry Center, you will have the opportunity to peacefully take back your sleep and your life after recovery. We provide state-of-the-art facilities for fostering more quality sleep and long-term recovery.
If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with substance abuse problems, The Blackberry Center can help. We use a personalized approach to addiction treatment. Our focus is on treating the disease, not the symptoms. We put our patients first every step of the way.
Our substance abuse-only treatment programs include detox, residential and partial hospitalization program. Our on-site rehab programs focus on a comprehensive recovery approach. They address your physical, mental and spiritual needs for optimal wellness. Your needs are unique. We treat you as such.
Reach out for help today
You may be struggling with long-term drug addiction. Or you may be fighting strong temptations to abuse drugs or alcohol. We can meet you where you are in your fight for sobriety.
We welcome you to our treatment center. From support groups to individual therapy treatment options, we are here to fight the battle with you.
Reach out to us online today. You can also call us at 888-512-9802.
Susan Gail Taylor is a content creator focusing on the addiction, health, fitness and mental health arenas. She earned a Master of Arts degree as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Technical Writing and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is passionate about animals, whole food plant-based nutrition, fitness and creating valuable content with featuring actionable steps. In her free time, Susan enjoys life and adventures with her husband Nathan and their two dogs Tallon and Kane. She also dedicates time to running, yoga, hiking and biking.