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How is Sleep Impacted in Recovery?

woman struggles with sleep in addiction recovery

When addiction is active, our sleeping schedules become incredibly sporadic as we fit our schedules around using substances. Alcohol, for instance, is often consumed at night – and because of this, it can be difficult to sleep in the evenings in recovery when our mind and body are so used to abusing substances at these later hours of the night. Last year, Dr. Elizabeth Hartney told Very Well Mind that trouble sleeping is a sign of a common withdrawal symptom – either because the body and mind are craving substances, or because certain times of the day spark routines to when a person used to drink or use drugs. Sleep is impacted a number of ways in recovery – and understanding these implications could help you take greater strides towards your health. A 2017 study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine found that residential rehabilitation reinforces the body’s natural sleeping system – but when that clashes with the routine a person’s built over time through addiction, what can they do? During this time, it’s most important for a person to try and establish a new routine. Set a new time to go to bed and work hard to make that time each night – if you’re having trouble sleeping, there are a variety of tools you can use, including sleep hygiene:

  •    Take a nice warm shower to get you relaxed
  •    Read a book and avoid technology an hour before bed
  •    Eat nutritious foods to help your mind and body function at their best
  •    Exercise earlier in the day to dispel some of that extra energy
  •    Always make your bed so that you have a calm, relaxing place to return to each night

Several years ago, researchers confirmed in a study that sleep disturbances can lead to relapse if not tended to closely. Speak with your therapist about some of the sleep issues that you’re having – and practice healthy coping mechanisms if you find that cravings to use emerge.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare offers an integrative and holistic approach to treat substance abuse and a wide variety of addictions, as well as underlying mental health and psychological issues. All of the addiction recovery programs offered by The Arbor are designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit leading to a lifetime of sobriety, health and wellness. If you’re ready to find healing and restoration in a peaceful, loving environment, please call us today at 844-560-7269.