Sleep is important for so many reasons. It allows the nervous system to rest and rejuvenate itself. Sleep helps your body regulate cycles, process information, create and store memories, and aids in creative thinking. Lack of quality sleep can negatively impact your emotions. When you emotionally process things better, you can increase mental focus and reduce stress.
When you struggle with substance abuse, you likely have insomnia. Nearly 30% of people who abuse alcohol also struggle with insomnia. Due to its depressant qualities, alcohol can make you sleepy but it can also disrupt your natural rhythms and sleep patterns. People who regularly drink alcohol before bed often wake up during the night and have trouble going back to sleep. Alcohol also:
- Creates a vicious cycle of unhealthy patterns
- Creates chemical dependencies in the body
- Disrupts the circadian rhythm
- Creates other sleep disturbances
- Increases likelihood of depression, anxiety, and loss of energy
- Puts you at higher risk of relapse
When you are not getting enough sleep, the body and mind cannot function optimally. There are ways to support a better habit of sleep. In recovery, this will be especially important to cultivate healthy patterns of behavior.
Catch Some Zzzs
One of the best ways to catch up on much needed rest is to catch some sleep with these tips:
- Create a restful sleeping environment. The bed needs to be comfortable, the room quiet and dark and ventilation at its best.
- Create a maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Set a time for sleeping and waking, including weekends. Don’t nap during the day to help reset your circadian rhythms.
- Monitor food and water intake. Avoid eating a large meal before bedtime and eliminate or reduce caffeine intake after 3 pm. Drink warm milk if that helps before bed.
- De-stress and relax before retiring to bed. Exercise earlier in the day, not the evening. Listen to relaxing music or guided meditations.
- Let go of worries before bed. Keep a pad and pencil to write things down (“brain dump”) to help you rest more soundly.
The main goal with getting a good night’s rest is to help your body and mind function optimally. What helps it do that is quieting yourself prior to bed by doing some of the above or finding your own rhythm that creates space for sleep to happen. It’s inevitable you will encounter stress during your day so try to focus on what you can change little by little and notice how it makes you feel.
Sound Recovery helps you take little steps that will add up to bigger steps in recovery. It is a journey of becoming, rather than arrival. Every little bit you do helps you focus on growth. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.