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The Importance of Sleep in Early Recovery

In active addiction, most of us barely sleep, and when we do, it isn’t rejuvenating or restful. The incidence of insomnia for people in early recovery is five times higher than in the general population. Sleep is essential for healing the damage we’ve caused from active addiction, and when we don’t get enough, we are at a greater risk of relapse.

When we are fully rested, our brains work better and are able to make sound decisions. If we aren’t getting enough sleep, our thinking becomes fuzzy, we may be agitated, our eating habits may be poor, and depression or anxiety can take over. All of these symptoms are dangerous triggers for the alcoholic or addict, and must be addressed.

In early recovery, sleep disturbances are common. It may take weeks, months, and in some cases, years before sleep patterns return to normal. This can be quite discouraging for the newly sober. Treatment centers are well-aware of addiction’s toll on the mind and body, and will work with you to help you achieve as much sleep as possible.

During treatment, doctors specializing in addiction medicine will counsel and advise you on sleep hygiene habits, teach you about medications that are counterproductive to recovery, and will devise a plan to ease your insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be part of this plan, and can be very useful in helping you examine the reasons why your sleep is subpar, and how you can fix the problem.

Other tools that can be extremely helpful are mindfulness and meditation. Not only are both techniques helpful for overcoming sleep difficulties, but they are also beneficial to recovery as a whole. Learning to quiet the mind, stay in the present, and focus on where you are, right now, are small but significant tips to calm your mind and ease stress in early and long term recovery.

The benefits of treatment are endless. The knowledge you will gain from addiction professionals will help you now, and throughout your life. Early sobriety isn’t easy, and treatment will give you the necessary tools to handle situations you never thought possible. Something as simple as sleep can derail an addict or alcoholic in an instant, but help is available. What you learn in treatment will set you up for success and long term recovery; all you need to do is make the first step and pick up the phone.   

The Serenity Recovery Center stands as a landmark of the Encino Hospital Medical Center offering the best of detox. Committed to providing comfort and care, our private detox program supports the first foundational steps of sobriety. Contact us today for information: 866.294.9401