Sleep issues are a big issue for people in the active cycle of addiction. Whether it’s too much sleep or not enough sleep, sleep issues can impact a person’s daily life and bring about debilitating physical and mental health symptoms. During treatment, it’s important for addicts in recovery to understand the impacts of sleep. And, determine ways to adjust their sleeping habits in order to give themselves the best chance of recovery success.
Why Healthy Sleep Patterns are so Important
What’s so necessary about a healthy sleep pattern anyway? Well, the reason humans need sleep is to regenerate energy and give both our minds and bodies rest. During sleep, our bodies heal from the previous day and are prepared for the day to come. Without the recharge that sleep allows for, our bodies are not prepared for the psychological processing and physical functioning they are required to perform.
Average sleep for an adult human is 7 to 9 hours a night. Certainly, it’s not always feasible to get this amount, but this should be the length of time sleep you aim to get on a daily basis. When you consistently don’t get enough sleep, this can lead to issues like insomnia and sleep deprivation – both of which can lead to the development of both physical and mental health issues including depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment, diabetes, and heart disease. Getting enough sleep is essential for good health on both mental and physical levels.
The Effects Addiction Has on Sleep
Abusing addictive substances can certainly lead to a lack of sleep. This is because addictive substances can affect our bodily functioning, keeping us from getting the sleep we need to remain mentally and physically healthy. Some of the effects that substances can have on sleep include:
Alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant that can keep us from falling into a deep and rejuvenating sleep (REM).
Stimulants: Stimulants like cocaine and speed keep the body and mind from drifting into sleep, keeping the body up and active.
Withdrawal: Withdrawing from specific substances, for example, opioids, can keep people from getting a healthy amount of sleep. And, since users of these substances will often stop using after a binge, they may find themselves having a hard time getting a healthy amount of sleep, leading to the negative effects that not enough sleep can bring.
The Importance of Sleep for Addicts in Recovery
Sure, when a person is in the active cycle of addiction, it is easy not to get enough sleep. But, this is true also for people who are in recovery. However, it’s essential to learn how to get enough sleep during treatment so that these habits can be implemented into a daily, sober life. When a person in recovery doesn’t get enough sleep, they are at a higher risk for developing concurring mental health issues like anxiety or depression, which can make the recovery process even more challenging. Learning new behaviors through treatment, like setting a sleep schedule, can help to reduce this risk.
Getting Help With Sleep in Recovery
If you find that you’re in the initial stages of recovery or are wanting to become sober and need help with sleep, treatment can help. Therapy and other resources are available to recovering individuals at Delray Center for Recovery so that individuals can learn the importance of sleep and how to achieve a healthy sleep schedule.