Sleep is always important. For some, missing even an hour or two one night can throw their entire day off, leaving them feeling tired and weak. However, sleep plays an even more important role for those in recovery from addiction and mental health disorders. Lack of sleep can lead to a number of detrimental effects on someone’s recovery. Not only is finding a way to ensure that someone gets enough sleep important each and every night, but it is also just as important to ensure that the sleep is deep, effective, and actually restful.
Why Sleep Is Important
Getting enough sleep is important for many more reasons other than avoiding the feelings of lethargy the following day. When someone is tired, it is not just their body, but also their mind that suffers. An exhausted individual may be moving slower, but also internalizing pertinent information at a slower rate than usual as well. This means that each day without proper sleep is hindering the recovery process.
People may not be able to fully understand the reason behind certain coping or grounding techniques or be able to implement them in their tired state, leaving them ill-equipped at that moment to deal with a particularly stressful event or urge to act on a previous addiction. Exhaustion also can induce a mental fragility on its own. Addiction and mental health recovery are inherently very vulnerable times and introducing even more fragility and uncertainty into that equation can hinder the process. Coupled with a loose grasp on one’s own coping mechanisms at the time, exhaustion can lead someone to make decisions that may be highly detrimental to their own recovery.
Get the Most Rest for Your Time
Getting to sleep is important, but so is making sure that the sleep is actually effective. While someone can get to bed early for the night, that doesn’t mean that the rest will necessarily be as helpful if they are constantly waking up throughout the night, unable to capture the deep sleep that they need. As such, it is important to avoid practices that may hinder someone’s ability to get this deep sleep. Avoiding caffeine is important, especially later in the day before bed. Caffeine can keep the body awake and jittery, as well as have adverse effects on anxiety and depression–both of which can also keep someone awake.
Electronics also create difficult sleeping conditions. Watching television can keep the mind occupied and busy, unable to attain the completely restful state that it may need. This isn’t to mention the light and sounds that are involved in watching a show, movie, or listening to a song that all may cause someone to stay awake far beyond when they had begun to feel tired.
Trouble Getting to Bed?
During recovery, each day brings its own challenges and stresses. Addiction recovery and mental health disorders can turn times of relaxation into times of distress, as an idle mind may wander towards dangerous thoughts and urges. Anxiety and depression about work and life stresses can keep someone awake far beyond the point where their body is tired and lead to someone denying themselves the rest they need. There is no quick fix for stress and no way to rush the recovery process. However, there is a way to help program someone’s mind in order for them to be able to get to sleep despite these stresses, and it all comes down to scheduling.
Schedule It In
Scheduling a bedtime is something that many people think they grow out of. However, having an established time to get to bed is important for people of all ages and can provide the necessary structure for those in recovery. It can help each person measure exactly how much rest they are getting each night. Holding to a scheduled bedtime is also the best way to ensure that someone is actually getting to sleep when they plan to.
When first setting a time, the body may not be adjusted to going to sleep at that time yet. However, it is still important to get to bed and rest. Over time, the body will learn its own bedtime and will prepare itself to fall asleep at a certain time, despite other stimuli being present. Schedules are an important part of any recovery in order to live a balanced, structured life. Scheduling in sleep is just as important as scheduling one’s own time for self-care, professional therapy sessions, and time for social interaction.
Sleep is a key part of having a balanced life and is just one technique that you need to employ in your own journey to recovery from addiction and its co-occurring mental health disorders. At Alta Centers, the environment provided is designed in order for you to have access to the most comfortable, luxurious space available for you to start your journey through addiction recovery. Addiction recovery involves scheduling not just someone’s rest, but structuring many aspects of each person’s life in order to best help them achieve the goals that they set for themselves. The professionals at Alta Center can help you develop a plan that is specific for your needs and goals, all while helping instill the appropriate coping mechanisms and grounding strategies that can best help you in your life. For more information on how Alta Centers can help you, or to talk to a professional about the options available for your unique situation, call Alta Centers today at (888) 202-2583.