Sleep and Recovery
It’s normal for people to toss and turn at night. It’s normal for people to occasionally have a problem sleeping. However, for people in recovery, sleep problems are a common struggle. It is amplified if people are going through alcohol or drug detox and their body is going through withdrawal. These sleep disturbances can last for weeks or even months. Common sleep disturbances for people in recovery include:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Problems staying asleep
- Poor sleep quality
- Sleep apnea
- Abnormal sleep stages
- Relapse dreams
Some reports have suggested that insomnia is five times more likely for people in early recovery. Even with all of these common disturbances, getting a good night’s sleep in recovery is important to help your body and mind heal. Without sleep, the risk of relapse greatly increases.
Tips for Better Sleep
Because sleep is essential during recovery, it is important to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve. We’ll give you some sleeping tips to help you feel well-rested.
- Stick to a Sleep Schedule: One of the best ways to improve your sleep patterns is to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Not only should you plan for eight hours of sleep every night, but you should also go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. A regular sleep routine can reset your circadian rhythm and help your body understand it’s time for bed. You should also avoid long naps later in the day because it can throw off your routine.
- Only Use Your Bed for Sleeping: Another tip to help you get a good night’s sleep is to only use your bed for sleeping. Watching television or doing work in your bed can create an association in your mind that your bed isn’t just for sleeping. This association can make it more difficult for your mind to relax when you lay in bed, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Create a Relaxing Sleep Environment: It’s a lot harder to fall asleep with loud noises, bright lights, and when it’s too hot. Try to create a peaceful environment in your room. Studies have shown that people sleep better in a cooler room. Try using a fan, blocking out unnecessary light, and maybe using a white noise machine or a sleep track to drown out loud noises.
- Exercise Regularly: An easy way to help improve sleep quality is to exercise regularly. Not only is exercise good for recovery and your overall health, but it is also known to improve sleep quality.
- Track Your Sleep Patterns: If you’re following all of these tips and nothing is helping improve your sleep quality, it may be a sign of another problem. Keeping a log of your sleep disturbances may help a doctor diagnose and treat a sleep condition.
No matter what you do, improving sleep quality takes time, especially in recovery. Be patient if things aren’t fixed right away. Give it some time. Generally, the longer that you are in recovery, the fewer sleep problems you will have. However, if sleep problems persist or do not improve, it may help to go see a doctor.