It is safe to assume that the majority of people who have gone through substance abuse have had a bad experience with sleep. Whether the substance is legal or not, it is a known fact that they have a huge impact on your body. Even when they have left your system, their effects can still hinder your sleep.
Sleep is an extremely important component of our lives. We need sleep to remain healthy and to function properly. The ideal amount of sleep for an adult is no less than 7 and no more than 8 hours a night. The quality of this sleep needs to be good in order for you to reap the benefits, and this is what tends to be compromised during recovery. If you plan to or you are currently going through an addiction recovery process, then here are some tips to help you reclaim the sleep that you need and deserve, while maintaining your sobriety.
Sleep Deprivation and Addiction
The relationship between sleep deprivation and addiction will depend on the drug that you are taking. Your addiction tends to play a huge part in your inability to rest than you realize. For example, people usually associate alcohol with relaxing and unwinding after a busy day. However, once these effects wear off, alcohol prevents you from falling into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which stops you from resting fully. It can also increase how much you wake up during the night. Illicit drug users will also experience sleep problems, especially when they are taking the drug. People who are going through withdrawals of these substances usually experience insomnia that can last for weeks or even months. There are a number of prescription drugs that can also disturb your nightly rest, even when they are used correctly. These side effects will be listed in the product leaflet.
Improve Your Sleeping Space
To begin your road to recovery of your sleep, you need to start with the bedroom. The setting needs to make you feel nurtured and relaxed, the temperature and lighting need to be correct, and it should be in a quiet location. If this isn’t the case, then you should do what you can to fix it. For example, purchasing blackout blinds to keep the room dark will reduce the chances of natural light disrupting your sleep. If you need some kind of light to sleep soundly, then consider a red-light bulb, because these don’t disrupt your sleep as much as white, yellow or natural light. You should avoid lying in bed to relax after a busy day. This is to ensure you associate bed with nothing else but going to sleep, which will make it easier to fall asleep when the time comes.
Avoid Social Media Before Bed
Eliminating screen time before you go to sleep will help your brain fully relax. Using electronic devices, like your smartphone, will have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Also, using social media can trigger the same rewarding feelings as drug and alcohol use, which makes it addictive. Reducing or completely eliminating the use of screen time at least one hour before you go to sleep will improve your sleep quality and increase the duration of your sleep. You can do so by placing your phone out of reach or finding something else to occupy your time, like reading a book. Reading something that gives you tips and advice on getting through recovery successfully is a great idea.
Start and Keep to a Routine
There are so many benefits to keeping to a routine and these will be very noticeable when you are going through a difficult time, such as addiction recovery. Doing something relaxing every night, such as a few light exercises or medication, will help to prepare your body and brain for the sleep ahead. It will also help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality. You should aim to do this a couple of hours before you go to bed and you should do it at the same time every night. If you do it right before you plan to sleep, your body may struggle to unwind. Avoiding late dinners, staying hydrated, and going to the toilet before bed will also improve your sleep and reduce disruptions.
Reduce Distractions and Noise
Doing everything you can to reduce the distractions and noise in your room during your sleep is essential. If you have things that wake you up during the night, your sleep quality will be compromised, so you need to find ways to solve these problems. For example, if your partner snores during their sleep and it disturbs you on a regular basis, then you should purchase some sleeping aids, such as these mouth strips designed to eliminate snoring. If you like background noise to fall asleep to, like your TV, then consider listening to white noise instead. There are many apps you can download onto your tablet or smartphone to provide this.
Ensure Your Bed is Comfortable
A comfortable bed is essential to get to sleep and will do you the world of good if you are struggling to sleep through recovery. This is everything from the mattress to the bedding itself. Purchasing a good quality mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep. You spend enough time sleeping to justify the cost and quality of your mattress. Ensuring your bedding is thick or thin enough to keep you at a good temperature throughout the night is also important. You could also look into purchasing a weighted blanket to help you get to sleep – these have been proven to make you feel more secure and to decrease anxiety. Make sure that your bed is fully fixed and secure. Slatted beds are the most supportive beds you can get.
Everyone’s experience during addiction recovery will be different, but knowing what to expect and the ways to deal with it are essential to make it through successfully. Don’t forget to consult a doctor before you make any major alterations to your regular health regime. You should never take any type of medication without medical guidance, especially when you are going through addiction recovery.