When was the last time you had good, restful sleep at night? Substance addiction can disrupt your natural sleep patterns. Entering detox treatment may add more emotional and physical exhaustion induced by withdrawal symptoms that further impact your sleep. Although this seems like a difficult transition, you will learn how to adjust sleep patterns. Regular and sufficient sleep is foundational to long-term recovery.
Sleep Problems Caused by Addiction
People with substance use disorders tend to have sleep problems including insomnia, sleep latency, disturbance in sleep cycles, disordered breathing, or hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness). Some of these symptoms begin when they start abstaining from using alcohol or drugs. For example, people detoxing from opioids often report symptoms of insomnia.
The relationship between substance addiction and sleep problems is very complex. On the one hand, substance use causes sleep problems because the brain gets over-stimulated, as drug use and sleep share common neurobiological mechanisms. On the other hand, insomnia and other sleep issues may also increase the risk of substance use as people self-medicate.
In addition to neurological risks, substance use may also interfere with the body’s systems that regulate sleep. For example, marijuana can interact with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Herion may interact with the endogenous opioid system, which plays an important role in putting people to sleep.
The Harm of Sleep Loss in Recovery
Avoiding sleep loss is crucial in early sobriety because it can negatively impact your overall health and increase the risk of relapse. There are natural ways to intervene in this issue. For example, you can keep a sleep diary and record your bedtime routines. Try to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Rebuilding a healthy rhythm of life can recalibrate your body to its natural sleep-wake cycle.
Health professionals may screen people in recovery for insomnia. After a careful evaluation, while considering risk factors, they can prescribe some sedative-hypnotic medications to treat insomnia. People in recovery who have long-term insomnia are at a much higher risk of relapse, which is why it’s so important to treat sleep problems to maintain your recovery progress.
Treating Sleep Problems During Recovery
There are many nonpharmacological treatments for insomnia and other sleep problems. For example, you can use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to identify the root causes of sleep deprivation or disturbance. These may include dysfunctional beliefs that impact your emotional state. The therapist integrates a range of techniques, including sleep education, sleep hygiene, stimulus control, sleep restriction, relaxation training, and cognitive therapy.
Mindfulness exercises may also help you transition into a calm and restful state. It reduces stress, which is one of the most common factors that play into insomnia. Mindfulness also increases emotional regulation and self-control. Many mindfulness exercises use a progressive muscle relaxation technique, which can help prepare your body for rest.
Keeping a Sleep Ritual
Lifestyle habits take time to form. You need to work hard on getting your body back to its natural rhythm. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to commit to a regular sleep ritual or schedule. By giving bedtime a set routine, your brain will gradually associate the things you do before bedtime with sleep. Similarly, create a bedroom environment that is conducive to sleep. This involves little to no light and little noise to reduce stimuli.
You can integrate mindfulness exercises or guided meditation before going to bed. Only carry out activities that make you calm, not excited. When you do them regularly, your brain will form new neurological circuits that signal it is time to rest for the day. Stay away from sugar or caffeine in the evening.
A very important way to avoid stimuli is by putting away screen devices. It is widely known that screens send out blue light which can inhibit sleep. Rely on natural light to guide the body’s natural cycle of waking up and sleeping.
Recharge the Brain and the Body for Long-Term Recovery
Your body needs to store fuel to maintain progress in recovery. Good nutrition, good sleep, and regular exercise are the building blocks of a recovery-supportive lifestyle. Sleep is vital for early recovery it detoxes both the body and the mind. A good night’s sleep has many benefits, including reduced inflammation and good moods. It is very important for brain health.
Since substance addiction is a brain disease, you should prioritize brain health during recovery. Ensuring sufficient and high-quality sleep is the best way for the brain to heal. It not only clears the brain of damaging molecules associated with neurodegeneration, but it recharges the entire body with renewed energy. It is the ultimate detox your body needs on a nightly basis.
Did you know that good sleep patterns are critical in restoring your body’s needs to maintain progress in recovery? Good nutrition, good sleep, and regular exercise are the building blocks of a recovery-supportive lifestyle. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our team of licensed mental healthcare professionals and therapists can coach and counsel you on rebuilding these healthy lifestyle components. Most of our staff has been in recovery themselves, so we understand why people struggle with sleep problems during recovery. Our compassionate and effective team can support your recovery journey by helping you develop natural sleep cycles throughout treatment. Our full medical residential facility also offers a range of treatments, including diagnosis, behavioral therapies, and 12-step programs to help your recovery. Many of these methods have been proven effective in reducing stress and restoring the body to its natural rhythm. Work with the recovery specialists at Laguna Shores Recovery who make customized plans for you. Call us at (866) 906-3203.
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