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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sleep-Proof Your Recovery

Did you know that the incidence of insomnia is up to five times higher in early recovery than in the general population? Moreover, substance abusers get an average of 5.5 hours total nightly sleep — less than the seven to nine hours per night recommended by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

The most common sleep problems linked with addiction, include:
  • Poor sleep quality       
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Narcolepsy
  • Depression 
Why Sleep Matters
Healthy sleep habits, or practicing good sleep hygiene, can make a big difference in your recovery. A lack of adequate, restorative sleep can cause daytime sleepiness, “fuzzy” thinking (common in early recovery), anxiety, depressed mood, and poor emotional control. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep can help restore and heal the bodily damage caused by addiction – and enable you to make sound decisions in favor of your lasting sobriety.

6 Steps for Better Sleep
These tips from the NSF can help make sound sleep part of your recovery plan:
  1. Practice a regular sleep-wake routine. Try to wake up every morning and go to sleep every night around the same time, even on weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and make it easier for you to fall and stay asleep for the night. 
  2. Know your bedroom’s role. Limit your bedroom for sleeping and intimacy only — no TV, Internet, etc.  
  3. Set a good sleep environment. Keep your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Consider window coverings to block light or invest in an eye mask. Your bedroom should be cool — between 60 and 67 degrees. 
  4. Establish a relaxing ritual. Each night before bedtime, practice meditation or yoga. Or do something relaxing, such as soaking in the tub, reading a book, or listening to some mellow music. The idea is to stay away from any activities that can cause excitement, stress, or anxiety, which can make shut-eye more difficult. 
  5. Watch your nighttime diet. Being too hungry or too full can disrupt your sleep. It’s also important to avoid nicotine and caffeine later in the day; both substances interfere with sound slumber. 
  6. Make exercise a daily priority. Sticking to a regular exercise routine — even a brisk daily walk — will help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly through the night. Vigorous exercise too close to lights out, however, could cause you to feel too energize, disrupting your sleep cycle.
Stress Relief for Recovery
Like poor sleep habits, unmanaged stress can also inhibit progress in your addiction recovery journey. To combat this, The Haven at Pismo Beach offers a variety of alternative therapies that relieve tension and complement your customized treatment plan. To learn more, call: 805-202-3440.