The Necessity of a Healthy Sleep Schedule

When undergoing your journey through recovery, getting good sleep every night is essential. Here are the benefits of a healthy sleep cycle, and tips to sleep better.

In active addiction, many of us never considered how important sleep could be for our mental and physical health. We were so caught up in feeding our addiction that we did not develop healthy sleep patterns and rarely, if ever, slept sober.

When we embrace a life of sobriety and begin to turn our attention to engaging in a healthy lifestyle, we must take into account how helpful a good night’s sleep can be for us.

Why Is Healthy Sleep So Important?

Missing out on adequate sleep leaves us feeling groggy and tired throughout the day, making it difficult to give our full attention to our recovery program.

According to the Harvard Medical School,

“When we are sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance drift, making it more difficult to receive information. Without adequate sleep and rest, over-worked neurons can no longer function to coordinate information properly, and we lose our ability to access previously learned information.”

Lack of sleep and the consequential inability to focus can be disastrous to our recovery. We are engaged in a process of learning about ourselves and our recovery. If we cannot give our attention to our program, we may miss out on life-saving opportunities for mental and spiritual growth.

On the other hand, getting adequate sleep has been linked with improved concentration and brain functioning.

Lack of Sleep on Your Body

Healthy sleep can help us manage the feelings of anxiety and depression that tend to strike in the early stages of recovery. According to the Sleep Foundation,

“The relationship between sleep and mood is complex, because disrupted sleep can lead to emotional changes, clinical depression or anxiety (as well as other psychiatric conditions), but these conditions can also compound or further disrupt sleep. In fact, altered sleep patterns are a hallmark of many mental health issues.”

If we are to avoid further feelings of depression and anxiety, we may find it beneficial to turn our attention to our sleep patterns.

When we get adequate sleep, we wake up feeling energized, optimistic, and ready to take on the day.

Healthy sleep patterns can give us the motivation and improved mood capable of keeping us happy, healthy, and hopeful throughout the day as we engage in our program of recovery.

How to Get the Best Sleep Possible

A good night’s sleep in early recovery can be hard to come by, and coupled with the frustration of not sleeping, the risk of relapse goes up.

We may have thought that we slept better when we were drinking or taking pills and smoking a joint before bed, but drugs and alcohol interfere with our natural sleep cycle by decreasing REM sleep.

The following is a list of suggestions to help you get on track to a more restful night:
  1. Sleep Hypnosis or Meditation There are thousands of sleep hypnosis and sleep meditation recordings online and in apps that you can listen to, and most of them are free.
  2. Limit Electronics – Avoid using any electronics an hour or two before bed. Studies have shown that the sleep chemical, melatonin, is reduced by 50% in people who use any devices before going to sleep. If you must, use the blue light filter on your phone or tablet.
  3. Dim Away – As you are winding down, keep your bedroom lights dim. Similar to #4, light keeps people awake by tricking your brain into thinking it needs to function in a wakeful state.
  4. Turn Down the Temperature – The suggested room temperature for optimal sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body temperature drops when trying to sleep, and by keeping your room cool, you are helping to facilitate this.
  5. Take a Hot Bath – Two hours before bed, take a hot bath for 20 or 30 minutes. Raising your body temperature two hours before bed will create a steeper drop in temperature at bedtime, helping to lull you asleep.
  6. Lay Off the Caffeine – Energy drinks, coffee, and regular tea do not mix well with sleep. If you are struggling at night, this isn’t helping. Cut yourself off by 2 pm.
  7. Look to Your Workout – If you have trouble falling asleep, try working out in the morning. If you have trouble staying asleep, hit the gym in the evening.
  8. Moon Milk – With many different recipes on the web, moon milk is an upgraded mug of warm milk. Sip before bed, and drift off to la la land in no time.

Recovery from addiction and alcoholism is possible. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a healthy, happy future in sobriety. Lakehouse Recovery Center combines therapeutic support and spiritually-based treatment with cutting-edge brain science to give you the greatest possible chance of achieving and maintaining permanent sobriety. For information about individually tailored treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777


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