When it comes to addiction recovery, sleep may not be one of the first things that come to mind. Sleep is important for all humans. Unfortunately, active addiction will commonly lead to an unhealthy sleep schedule. So, it’s important that during addiction recovery, individuals learn to implement healthy sleep schedules so that their bodies can get the healing they need. So, sleep and addiction recovery actually goes hand in hand.
The Prevalence of Sleep Problems in Active and Recovering Addicts
According to research performed by the National Institutes of Health, individuals recovering from addiction or actively involved with addiction “seem 5 to 10 times more likely to have sleep disorders”. Sleep disorders can range from insomnia to life-threatening sleep apnea. All keep individuals from getting the healthy amount of sleep they need. When individuals in treatment don’t focus on developing a healthy sleep schedule, they’re likely to fall back into unhealthy sleep patterns as they experienced throughout active addiction. This, along with providing a number of mental and biological negative side effects, can put recovering individuals at risk for relapse.
The Dangers of Not Getting Enough Sleep for a Recovering Individual
There are a few reasons why sleep is important for a recovering individual. But, mostly, it’s so that a lack of sleep doesn’t negatively affect sobriety. The dangers of not getting enough sleep in early recovery may include:
Health Problems: A number of health issues can arise as a result of a lack of sleep. These may include heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. In fact, most people who struggle with insomnia also have other health issues.
Mental Health Issues: There is definitely a tie between mental health issues and sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “people with insomnia have greater levels of depression and anxiety than those who sleep normally. They are 10 times as likely to have clinical depression and 17 times as likely to have clinical anxiety”. It’s proven that even losing small amounts of sleep each night can decrease the ability to manage moods.
Concentration: When you can’t focus on your sobriety the way you should, you put yourself at risk for relapse. A lack of sleep can not only cause you to be tired, but it can cause a lack of concentration as well. You want to be your best self in recovery, and getting the sleep you need will help you focus on being the best you!
Sleep and Addiction Recovery Tips
If your one affected by lack of sleep and the negative side effects it can bring to recovery, there are fortunately some things you can to do assure you’re getting the sleep you need. Some tips for getting a healthy amount of sleep include:
Distraction-Free: Make sure that your sleep environment is meant for just that– sleep. It can be easy and comfortable to use your bedroom for work, entertainment, or otherwise. But, if your bedroom isn’t only for sleep, your sleep is at risk for being disturbed. When you eliminate these distractions, your mind and body will eventually associate your bedroom with sleep and it will become easier to get the sleep you need.
Scheduling: Making a sleep schedule will help you to keep to a routine. It’s best to go to sleep at the same time every night. Your body and mind can be trained, so setting a routine will help your body and mind to realize that it’s time to wind down. Eventually, you’ll find that you get tired and wake up around the same times each day.
Healthy Balance: Eating right and exercising can greatly help those who are experiencing sleep problems. Throughout active addiction, eating healthy and exercising frequently may not be of top priority. And, this may attribute to the reason sleep issues exist in the first place. So, make sure you’re incorporating a healthy balance of healthy foods in your diet and also getting the 30 minutes of exercise three times a week.
Addressing Sleep and Addiction Recovery Post Treatment
Aftercare services can help you incorporate a healthy sleep routine in the days of early recovery. If you are interested in treatment aftercare services like sober living, give Lily Pad of St. Augustine a call today at 561-758-1011.