If you have been using drugs and alcohol for a long time, you have forced your body into an unhealthy habit of depending on harmful substances while potentially forgoing nutrients from a healthy diet. Some people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol may even withhold from eating altogether. When you begin treatment, your physical body must take a journey of recovery as well. Although you can repair your mental and emotional health by using therapies and advanced technologies, ultimately, your body most needs to recuperate from substance abuse. Your body is honest in expressing the many symptoms, from withdrawal to renewal. During recovery, it is essential to listen to your body and try to restore its natural rhythms. For example, health professionals have long noted that addiction recovery has much to do with sleep quality.
Your Body Sends Out Important Messages
Your body constantly sends out messages through sensations of hunger, thirst, cold, pain, pleasure, fatigue, thoughts, emotions, and other signals. Some people may be too busy or not in touch with their bodies well enough to notice all of these messages. You may have gotten used to pushing them aside, sometimes past your breaking point. Even in sending messages of pain, your body is honest. Listening to your body means that you become more aware of the daily functioning of its different parts. Your body tells you things like when to rest and when to eat. Deprivation of your body’s natural rhythms–for example, sleep–may increase your vulnerability to addiction. The imbalanced levels of dopamine from drug and alcohol use may result in a disruption of the circadian rhythm.
In recovery, your body is also honest by displaying intense withdrawal symptoms. Its entire system finds it hard to function without drugs and alcohol after depending on them for so long. Your body may protest at loud volumes. Unfortunately, you are only suffering the consequences of your unhealthy choices. Take your brain, for example: there, you have an internal clock that regulates your daily activities, including your sleep and wake cycles and mental alertness patterns. These rhythms may influence your mood and stress levels. Long-term addiction can cause your internal biological clocks to get out of sync, which can explain the disruption of sleep and mood swings. Admittedly, there are people with genetic predispositions that cause their addictive tendencies, but in most cases, behavioral choices come with harmful consequences to your body.
How to Listen to Your Body
What should you do if your body’s internal mechanisms are out of sync while in recovery? It is important to learn how to listen to the messages sent by your body. Even an unhealthy body sends out messages, and listening to those messages is crucial for overcoming addiction. Know that your body is working hard to return to a balanced biological clock. Give your body a leg up by assisting in restoring your body’s natural rhythms. These include adopting a healthy daily routine of diet, exercise, relaxation, socialization, and sleep.
While at the treatment center, use all the help you can get to help your body recuperate. In addition, some techniques can help the body through a smoother recuperation. For example, treat your own body as a valued friend who has been previously neglected. Do a mindful body scan and observe whether different parts of the body feel any fatigue, stress, or pain and address them appropriately. This technique is in many yoga and mindfulness exercises. Or try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is effective in addiction recovery.
Return to the Basics: Your Sleep Quality
A lot of our body’s natural rhythms come back to its basic sleep patterns. When you are doing the hard work of recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, sleep quality is more important than anything. The goal is to have a long, uninterrupted period of deep sleep every night. Research shows that people in recovery are twice as likely to relapse if they cannot get quality sleep each night. Starting from your early recovery phase (withdrawal period), quality sleep may be difficult to achieve. Keep striving for it, and it will come easier in time.
When your body arrives at its healthy rebooting spot, it will likely be easier for you to break out of the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation, mental health issues, and substance abuse. From there, keep regulating your sleep to help avoid a relapse into drugs and alcohol. Intentionally listen to your body; you have traveled a long way to restore it. The rest is maintenance, and it is equally important.
Getting your body back to its natural rhythms is important in recovery, but it might be very challenging. You might experience intensified sleep problems during the withdrawal period. It is important to listen to your body during this time. You also need a lot of expertise and support from health professionals who know how to navigate the changes in your body. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our experienced health professionals and therapists have helped many people manage different phases of detox treatment and recovery. They can certainly help you learn how to listen to your body and restore its natural rhythms. At Laguna Shores Recovery, you will find that we believe in a holistic approach to sustainable recovery. This shows in our full range of programs, including cognitive and behavioral therapies, family relationship programs, and 12-step groups. Call us at (866) 229-9923. We are committed to improving the quality of your life.