A common issue for newly sober people and one of the most common withdrawal symptoms for alcoholics is the inability to sleep without alcohol. Additionally, other symptoms of alcohol addiction recovery can play a part in reduced sleep. The sweating, cold chills, and aches can all wreak havoc on getting a peaceful night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can dramatically and negatively impact one’s mood.
Many people who were previously caught in the cycle of alcohol addiction, but are now newly sober, may be tempted to turn to sleeping pills to find rest. While there are prescription medications to aid in sleep, this could lead to abuse or even dependency and, ultimately, a sleeping pill addiction treatment program. Women’s Recovery in Colorado can offer several options that help you sleep better. Call 833.754.0554 to learn more about falling asleep without substances or sleeping pills.
Recovering Alcoholics and Insomnia
The majority of people that drink often will likely experience problems with sleeping. More than three drinks cause the average person to fall asleep sooner than they normally would. The problem lies when you stop drinking. Sleep in recovery can be fleeting for a while after abstaining from alcohol. Most individuals with an alcohol use disorder have problems with sleep. There is a definite connection between the lack of alcohol and the lack of sleep.
Some common things that a recovering alcoholic will experience include the following:
- Waking up more often throughout the night
- Their quality of sleep is worse than it was before
- They have less deep sleep and wake up earlier than they normally would
After rehab, sleep can be disrupted for quite a long time, even after the other withdrawal symptoms disappear. Generally, the symptom of not being able to sleep is between the 2-6 month period of abstinence.
Understanding Sleeping Drunk and Sleeping Sober
When you go to sleep sober, you go through different sleep cycles. They take place at different times throughout the night. You’ll have stages of deep sleep where the body is actually recuperating itself. This is really important when you are going through addiction recovery. You go through REM sleep too. During this phase of sleep, your brain consolidates and remembers information from the day. You may fall asleep faster when you go to bed drunk, but it interferes with your body’s sleep cycle. You don’t get the REM sleep you need when you go to bed drunk. Going to bed intoxicated can cause physical and psychological problems that can keep you in the addiction loop.
Ways to Naturally Fall Asleep While Maintaining Sobriety in Recovery
There are helpful tools you’ll be taught so you can get to sleep in recovery. You can use these tools when you get home as well. Some tips are things you’ll be doing in recovery, while others are actions you can take when you go home.
Prepare Your Sleeping Space
It’s essential to create a space you want to inhabit for sleeping. Your bedroom can and should be your sanctuary. Simple things like making your bed and decluttering in the bedroom can make all the difference in your wanting to go to bed at night. When you reduce physical clutter, you also reduce mental clutter.
Find the Right Bedroom Routine
Be intentional about your sleep routine. It takes time to settle down enough to be content at bedtime. If you find that watching TV until late hasn’t worked, you might want to try other things. Take a bath, read a book, or drink some tea while stargazing. Try to do things that relax you and make you feel at peace.
The more you meditate, the more you’ll find you can negate all the mental chatter. Part of the reason you can’t sleep is that you can’t shut off your mind. When you train yourself to be mindful, you can stop falling into the chatter and create peace inside yourself. Meditation clears you of all the thoughts that can cause negative effects and allows you to tap into the divine part of yourself. That powerful part of you that was able to stop drinking in the first place.
Make Bedtime a Ceremony
Before going to bed, do a few things that are special for you. This will get the mind to see a connection between pleasant things and bedtime. Right now, you may fear going to bed because it meant sleepless nights in the past. This is going to cause you to feel stress, which in turn, makes it harder to sleep. So make bedtime something really wonderful for yourself. This will alleviate stress and give you time to spoil yourself.
Have a Sleep/Wake Schedule
By creating a time you go to bed and wake up, your body will get used to the process. As time passes, your body will be accustomed to going to bed at the time you have set.
Don’t Take Naps Throughout the Day
You want to make sure you don’t take naps throughout the day. When you nap, you’re not getting into the full resting state that sleep gives you. Napping will make getting a good night’s sleep much more challenging.
Avoid Stimulants in the Evening
Don’t ingest anything that could give you energy in the evening. This could be anything from sugar to caffeinated drinks like coffee, soft drinks, or tea. It would be best if you also avoided nicotine.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
You’ll likely begin this process in a rehab program. How it works is you’ll tense your muscles and then relax them. This helps to release any stress in the body so you can properly rest. This is something you may want to make part of your bedtime routine.
Exercise Every Day
Raising your endorphin levels through exercise is going to help you recover from addiction. Many of the symptoms you suffer from will be reduced and even alleviated. You get rid of stress and tire the body out. This is going to make it easier to fall asleep at night.
Spend Time Outdoors
It’s essential to get outside and expose yourself to natural light. Many studies have discussed how different types of light affect your mind. One of the telltale signs you’re not getting outside enough and spending too much time on the computer is lack of sleep. Get yourself outside and take in that natural, bright light. In addition, reduce the amount of time you spend on electronic devices. This helps you get a better sleep at night.
Contact Women’s Recovery for Sober Sleep
You may think that falling asleep without substances such as alcohol is impossible. However, implement these suggestions to help you get the sleep you need and determine which works best for you.
Women’s Recovery is committed to helping you or a loved one maintain recovery and a life of sobriety. If you have turned to sleeping pills to find rest and relief from insomnia, we can help. Contact Women’s Recovery at 833.754.0554 or reach out online. At Women’s Recovery, we can help you on your journey to a no-alcohol and sleep-enhanced life.