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As you enter recovery for drug or alcohol misuse, you likely follow general recommendations, such as attending meetings and developing coping strategies to help you maintain your sobriety. While these elements are essential in any recovery, one small detail many overlook is getting enough sleep.

While we all understand the importance of rest, it becomes even more vital as you overcome a drug or alcohol addiction. At Sana at Stowe, we offer a peaceful environment so you can rest and recharge as you enter your recovery journey.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Besides helping you feel well-rested, a good night’s sleep is critical for your overall health. Not getting enough sleep or entering sleep deprivation can severely impact your health — so much so that how you feel when you’re awake results from how you sleep. Some common side effects of sleep deficiency are:

  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Reduced alertness and slow reaction times.
  • High stress.
  • Irritability.
  • Anxiety.
  • Impulsivity.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Lower immune system.

Does Addiction Affect Sleep?

Drugs and alcohol can significantly affect your sleeping patterns and habits, which can result in a loss of sleep. Here are some other ways these substances can affect your sleeping patterns:

Do People Recovering From Addiction Sleep a Lot?

When you first enter recovery, you may find that your sleep patterns and schedule do not immediately correct themselves. Substances like opiates, marijuana, and alcohol can increase feelings of restlessness when you initially stop using them. Other substances, like stimulants, can create a coma-like sleep as you enter withdrawal.

Months into recovery, you can still experience some issues sleeping as a result of post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). Correcting your sleep schedule should be one of the first things you address in addiction recovery so you can give your body the rest it needs.

Why Is Sleep Important in Rehab?

Sleep plays a significant role in the body and mind, making it just as important as therapy or other treatment methods for individuals recovering from addiction. Below are some ways sleep can benefit individuals in rehab:

1. Reduces Feelings of Anxiety and Stress

When you lack sleep, your body increases the production of hormones like cortisol, which can cause anxiety and tension. By getting enough sleep, your body can better regulate these hormones and create a sense of calm and relaxation.

Sleep can also help you better regulate your emotions, which is an integral part of the addiction recovery process. When we don’t get the sleep we need, it becomes harder to manage emotions, leading to impulsive behaviors and poor decisions. By prioritizing sleep, individuals recovering from addiction can learn how to manage their feelings and cope with difficult emotions in a healthier way.

2. Improves Overall Mood

Getting the right amount of sleep can affect your mood. When you don’t sleep enough, you may feel irritable, sad, or more prone to depression. Getting enough sleep, however, can help you feel more well-rested, energized, refreshed, and optimistic.

Sleep is vital in regulating many of your body’s hormones that can affect your mood. If you get enough sleep, your body produces more serotonin, which makes you feel happy. By making an effort to sleep more during addiction recovery, you can reduce the risk of relapse due to negative emotions, which allows you to focus on recovery.

3. Enhances Cognitive Functioning

When you sleep, your brain is still connecting memories to previous experiences and processing the day’s events. A lack of sleep can interrupt this process and affect other areas of your life, such as learning and decision-making, which can decrease your overall cognitive functioning.

Getting enough sleep can improve your attention span, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. If you are in recovery, enhanced cognitive function is especially beneficial, as you can make better decisions about your recovery goals and focus on progress. Proper sleep is important in ensuring a successful rehabilitation process.

Tips for Getting Enough Sleep During Recovery

If you’ve been struggling with sleep deprivation, knowing where to start in improving your sleep schedule can be challenging. Fortunately, a few tips can help you sleep soundly through the night:

1. Set Times for Sleeping and Waking Up

Creating a schedule for sleeping and waking up can be an effective way to ensure you get enough sleep. Without a schedule, you may stay up too late and only get a few hours of sleep, or your body may constantly play catch-up. Set a specific time to go to bed and wake up for each day of the week, and try to stay on this schedule.

2. De-Stress Before Bed

Doing calm activities and practices right before bed is a great way to get you in the mindset for sleep. Some ideas include turning off your phone an hour before bed, taking a warm bath, or reading your favorite book. Doing these activities each night can help your brain realize that they’re signals to relax and get ready to sleep.

3. Make Your Bedroom an Ideal Place for Sleep

Your bedroom environment can play a huge role in your sleep quality. You can create a sleep-friendly bedroom environment by removing any light or sounds with blackout curtains and earplugs. You should also only use your bed for sleep, as your body will eventually understand that when you lay in bed, the goal is to rest.

4. Avoid Exercising Too Close to Bedtime

After missing your morning workout, you might think about sneaking it in before bed. However, exercising too close to bedtime can increase your energy levels and make it harder to sleep. Working out earlier in the day also makes you more likely to feel tired in the evenings.

Rest in a Healing Environment at Sana at Stowe

At Sana, we understand that sleep is a vital part of addiction recovery. We offer a state-of-the-art facility in Vermont for our residential treatment program that allows patients to rest and relax in the utmost comfort. Each room at our facility is comfortable and calming, so you can put your full effort into prioritizing your sleep and recovery.

To learn more about how our facility and addiction recovery services can support you on your healing journey, give us a call at 802-566-5906 today.

Sana is Here to Help

Sana is here for you and your loved ones. Sana at Stowe provides high-quality treatment for those struggling with substance abuse, alcohol addiction, trauma, and PTSD. Our compassionate and professional staff is dedicated to giving our patients the recovery experience they deserve in a safe and healing environment. To learn more or to get started on your journey to recovery today, give us a call or visit our contact form.

Click here to call us: 866-575-9958