Looking for something you can do to help your recovery? Why not sleep on it? No, really. Getting into the habit of good, full nights of sleep is one of the best things you can do, both for your recovery from addiction and for your overall health.
After leaving a residential treatment program, it’s important to think about something as simple as the sleep you get every night.
Sleep and Recovery: It’s an Important Relationship
Researchers have found that, when you have disrupted sleep patterns, it increases your risk of relapse—and it is not hard to understand why. Maintaining your recovery is a challenge, one that requires all the strength, resilience, clear-headedness, and optimism that you can muster. But when you start the day already running close to empty—sleep-deprived and energy-deficient—you’re at a major disadvantage as you tackle new challenges and stresses.
The signs that you’re not getting enough sleep are fairly obvious. The most obvious one is that you’re excessively sleepy during the day. If it’s to the point where you fall asleep at your work desk or during meetings, then chances are you need a lot more sleep than what you’ve been getting.
Other signs include having difficulty focusing on simple tasks, like reading emails and writing notes. You might also find yourself making more mistakes than usual. As a result, your job performance can be affected.
If you’re constantly yawning, that’s another sign that you’re sleep-deprived. Yawning is your body’s way of trying to get more oxygen, which it needs when it’s tired.
There are also physical signs that you’re not getting enough sleep. If you find yourself gaining weight or developing dark circles under your eyes, those could be indicators that you need more shut-eye.
To do the hard work of recovery, your body and mind both need to be in peak condition—and while the occasional restless night is to be expected, chronic sleeplessness is bound to throw your recovery off course. So what can be done to help you develop better sleeping patterns for yourself?
Tips for Sleeping During Recovery
Taper off your caffeine intake after noon
Withdrawing from caffeine and other substances can often be challenging, especially during the later stages of addiction recovery. That said, there are a few simple tips that you can follow to make sleeping during this time easier and more restful.
Ensure that you have a cool, dark environment in which to sleep
Consider investing in blackout curtains or an eye mask if you are currently sleeping during the day or at night.
Turn off your phone, tablet, and laptop a couple of hours before bed
In fact, the blue light from your screens can actually disrupt your sleeping pattern. As we live by our electronics, it’s important to remember to shut these things off so that you can get that all-important recovery sleep you need.
Try to get some physical activity at some point during the day
A sedentary lifestyle isn’t good for you, regardless of your age. Get out there and get some exercise, even if it’s as simple as taking a walk. Ideally, don’t engage in exercise right before bedtime.
Be consistent in your recovery sleep schedule
This includes both going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This may seem hard to do but it’s important to fall into a consistent schedule. Your body will thank you for it.
Create a bedtime routine
If you do not already have one, it is important that you create a bedtime routine for yourself. This can include activities such as reading or listening to music.
Practice yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises
This will help you to better cope with stress and anxiety. If you’re unfamiliar with these practices, you may be tempted to skip them. Don’t. They can be very useful.
Addiction, Recovery and Sleep
Sleep is an essential, non-negotiable ingredient in your recovery. Make it a priority. Work toward getting better sleep at night by following these quick tips and techniques. To learn about making your recovery a total success, call us today at 833.433.0448.