As crucial to well-being as diet and exercise, sleep is also integral to addiction recovery. Sleep allows the body to heal from substance abuse, while also providing the clarity and energy necessary for resiliency.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SLEEP AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Those who struggle to sleep may be at an increased risk for substance abuse. These individuals may seek out substances to help them fall asleep or stay awake during the day. A lack of sleep has even been linked to higher cravings and relapse.
THE BENEFITS OF SLEEP
While a person sleeps, their brain and body undergo vital repair processes so they can feel refreshed, energized, and able to perform optimally the next day. Quality sleep promotes holistic health, including emotional, mental, physical, and even social well-being.
Some benefits of sleep include:
- Improves mood: Insufficient sleep is associated with depression, irritability, stress, and emotional outbursts. With enough sleep, individuals typically have a more positive outlook and are able to control their emotional responses effectively.
- Cultivates mental clarity: Sleep deprivation can cause slowed reaction times and carrying out tasks on inadequate sleep can be compared to functioning with alcohol in one’s system. Alternatively, good sleep primes the brain to concentrate, solve problems, and remember details, which all benefit productivity.
- Nourishes physical health: During sleep, the body carries out important recovery functions. When those processes are disrupted by lack of sleep, individuals are more at risk for a weakened immune system, weight gain, and heart disease.
- Encourages social interactions: When tired, individuals may be more likely to skip social outings and feel lonely. On the other hand, those who are well-rested usually have the energy and motivation necessary for connecting socially.
OBTAINING QUALITY SLEEP
Reaping the benefits of sleep requires getting quality rest, which means sleeping for at least seven hours each night while cycling through each of the sleep phases optimally.
Here are five tips for sleeping well:
- Exercise daily: Physical activity during the day can help release built-up energy, tension, and anxiety so that stress doesn’t interfere with your ability to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Create a restful environment. A cozy sleep environment can encourage relaxation. Ensure your sleep space is dark, quiet, temperature-controlled, and, of course, comfortable.
- Stay away from stimulants: Substances such as caffeine and nicotine can make it difficult to fall asleep and interfere with your rest throughout the night.
- Avoid unnatural light in the evening: The body has a biological clock based on changing daylight that helps it maintain sleep and wake patterns. Exposure to light from screens and other sources can confuse the body’s natural wind-down response to the diminishing light in the evening.
- Mindfulness practices: Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle stretching to encourage a sense of calm before bed.
HEALING SUPPORT FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE AT WASATCH CREST
At Wasatch Crest, our caring clinicians and recovery staff help pave the way for our clients’ comprehensive healing. During treatment, clients integrate practical and nourishing life skills, such as creating healthy sleep routines, in order to promote lasting recovery. Learn more about our addiction treatment programs in Heber City, UT by reaching out.