Being unable to sleep is one of the most frustrating dilemmas faced by people in early recovery. People who have become reliant on drugs and alcohol to fall asleep often find that sleep is impossible. Whether you are in a residential treatment center or even outpatient drug addiction therapy, insomnia is one of the main difficulties faced by those involved. It can happen at any time during the process but is most apt to occur during the first few weeks of treatment. At Crestview Recovery, we understand that sleep is vital. Give us a call to learn more about our addiction treatment options in Portland by calling 866.262.0531.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is the condition of having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It is one of the more persistent symptoms those in recovery face. In the early stages of drug and alcohol detox, insomnia can occur at any time. According to a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, people in the early stages of recovery are five times more likely to have insomnia than the general population.
Tips for Reducing Insomnia During Recovery
Insomnia during detox can lead to poor concentration, increased anxiety, tiredness, irritability, and depression. Without a good night’s sleep, one’s recovery can be affected. Here are some tips on battling insomnia.
Stick to Routines
Have a specific bedtime where you go lay down at a certain time and wake at a certain time. Keeping a regular schedule will set your body’s internal clock and start you on the path to getting a better quality of sleep. Attending the following programs can help people learn routines for healthy sleep in our addiction treatment programs:
Make Bedtime Relaxing
Take a warm bath prior, read a book or calming music, listen to meditation apps, or smell some lavender. These relaxing methods can help get your body wind down to relaxation. Avoiding electronics like phones and TV at least an hour before bed can help your brain “power down” and be ready to sleep.
Limit Caffeine and Eat Healthy Foods
Pumping your body full of nicotine or caffeine will keep your brain “on alert” for 4-6 hours after consumption. Be mindful to eat foods that are healthy before bedtime and drink beverages that aren’t caffeinated.
Make your bedroom a sleep-only zone. If you typically play video games or watch TV, work out, or do other things in the bedroom, your mind will not associate the room with sleep. Your brain should automatically switch to drowsy when you walk into the room, so make it quiet and relaxing and keep it only for sleep until your insomnia sorts itself out.
Exercise your mind and body – studies have shown that working your body and your mind can help contribute to better sleep. Mental fatigue is as tiring as physical fatigue, so grab a crossword puzzle and then get some cardio going to get you ready for deep restorative sleep. Exercising both will boost the immune system and decrease anxiety and stress. The more you fall into this habit, the more positive life changes you’ll see as a result.
Does Counting Sheep Actually Work?
For some people, counting sheep actually builds up stress and anxiety, making it even more challenging to drift off. Instead of watching the clock or counting sheep, focus on deep breathing instead. Keep the clock facing away from you to avoid the temptation to stare at it. If you find yourself still awake 20 minutes after getting into bed, get up and do something peaceful before lying back down. Reading is a great way to get drowsy, or you can sip a warm non-caffeinated beverage and listen to calming music. Remember, no TV, no cellphones or tablets, and no stimulating music. Contact Crestview Recovery to learn more about how to get the best sleep in the early days of addiction recovery by calling 866.262.0531.