Sleep is an important element in a healthy lifestyle. Making sure you get enough sleep can help you manage your recovery from addiction in a number of important ways. Understanding the link between sleep and addiction recovery can help you to handle many of the challenges that can arise during the recovery process. Here are some points to keep in mind when managing your sleep schedule during recovery from addiction.
Sleep disorders like insomnia have been linked to a higher risk of addiction to drugs or alcohol. In many cases, drugs and alcohol are used as self-medication by those who cannot fall asleep easily. Lack of sleep can also lead to fatigue during waking hours, which can result in addiction to stimulants that can increase alertness and can reduce this fatigue. Finally, disruptions in the sleep cycle caused by drugs and alcohol can reduce the ability to sleep naturally and can result in even greater dependency on these chemical substances.
Over time, the use of mood-altering substances like illegal drugs and alcohol can have an impact on the chemical makeup of your brain. Many drugs promote the production and release of dopamine, a chemical compound that plays a role in regulating sleep for most people. Dopamine creates powerful feelings of well-being that can account for many of the addictive properties of commonly used drugs. Unfortunately, the sleep-altering impact of dopamine can also reduce your ability to get a good night’s sleep, which can increase the perceived need for drugs and alcohol and can cause further addictive behaviors. The changes to brain chemistry caused by repeated flooding of dopamine into the neurons can have a lasting effect on your ability to sleep soundly for months or even years after you stop using drugs and alcohol.
As your body heals from the effects of your addiction, you will need plenty of sleep to recover fully and to begin living your life without the burden of addictive behaviors. The link between healthy sleep and addiction recovery has been demonstrated in numerous studies. By allowing your body to recharge and your mind to relax during sleeping hours, you can wake refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of everyday life much more efficiently. Conversely, lack of sleep can delay the body’s own healing process and can increase your risk of a relapse back into your previous addictive behaviors.
Finding an addiction recovery program that looks at the entire person rather than simply the addictive behaviors can help you to build better habits while managing your addiction more effectively. At Sober Living America, we are a faith-based addiction program that offers services regardless of your current financial situation or ability to pay. By working with us, you can learn the skills and obtain the tools needed to build a better life without drugs and alcohol addiction. Give us a call today at 877-430-0086 to request more information. At Sober Living America, we are here to help.