A common mark of early recovery is lots of sleep. After the detox phase has passed and the unruly symptoms of withdrawal have finally receded, the onset of emotions and psychological work leaves someone in early recovery exhausted. Spare time during treatment is often spent napping as much as possible. Sober living life that isn’t regulated by a stream of activity or an outside job finds even more time dedicated to catching up on sleep that wasn’t gained in the regiment of intensive treatment. Years of active addiction and alcoholism can leave a person low on energy. Drinking and using takes a lot of energy: all the planning, lying, manipulating, the actual drinking and using, the hangovers, seeking out substances, avoiding withdrawals, denial, etc. Eventually it can really take a toll.
Not everyone finds a sleep cycle in recovery. People especially who have abused stimulant-type drugs long term such as cocaine, amphetamines, study drugs, methamphetamines or synthetics can find a hard time developing a natural sleep cycle. When they attempt to supplement their need for stimulation with activity, caffeine or energy drinks, they can disrupt their sleep even further. Insomnia is a sleeping disorder of it’s own accord, but there are patterns and behaviors that can contribute to not regularly getting a good night sleep. Overusing electronic devices before bedtime can keep the mind stimulated, and the special blue light from inside the screens actually tells the brain that it is daytime, so it should therefore stay awake. Eating sugary treats before bed can hyperstimulate as can consuming too much caffeine in the later hours of the day.
Another cause of sleeplessness that should be considered in early recovery is trauma and anxiety. For thousands of people, there is a shared experience in being particularly uncomfortable come nightfall. Many addicts and alcoholics were night owls, night crawlers, and nocturnes. Some of the best – and worst- drinking or using happened when the sun went down. Still associated with active using, the brain can enter a state of anxiety, trauma or panic when night falls. By means of an inefficient coping mechanism, staying awake and ruminating on these experiences can seem like a convincing way to avoid drinking or using. Insomnia will catch up, in more ways than one.
Electing to take a sleeping aid, prescribed or natural, can be a scary thing in early recovery as developing a dependence upon any kind of drug can be frightening. More frightening are some of the side effects of not getting enough sleep. Increased likelihood of accidents, poor heart health, and an inability to think properly are just some of the ways a lack of sleep can translate into daily life.
Sound Recovery Solutions takes a holistic approach to recovery. We offer massage, chiropractic work and acupuncture to help the body regulate it’s necessary process like sleep. We know that hard work that gets done everyday in our treatment programs and value supplementing it. For more information on our individualized plans for treatment, call 561-666-7427 today.