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Sleep And Mental Health: There’s More To The Relationship

Sleep is a vital part of the recovery process. Rest is essential for the body, mind, and spirit to heal effectively. Without rest, clients run the risk of exhaustion and fatigue which can interfere with their ability to receive the information, participate ing groups, and make the most out of their treatment experience. Getting enough sleep is a practice which begins in early recovery and and must be carried out regularly throughout one’s lifetime for ongoing recovery.

Not getting enough sleep, struggling with restlessness, and even having to cope with night terrors or nightmares can be symptoms of poor mental health. Likewise, poor mental health can be caused by a lack of sleep. Anyone who has gone days on end with poor sleep feels the effect of mental and physical exhaustion symptomized by moodiness, irritability, and general discontent. For the addict or alcoholic in recovery this can have a devastating effect.

Huffington Post reports that sleep and mental health are intimately connected. “Nearly one in five Americans suffers from some kind of mental illness,” the website cites from the NIMH, National Institute of Mental Health. “Even more surprising, a whopping 50 to 80 percent of people living with typical psychiatric illnesses also report chronic sleep problems, compared to less than 20 percent of the general population.”

According to the article, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety can all interfere with sleep. In contrast, depression and anxiety can be triggered by a lack of sleep.

In early recovery treatment days, your loved one will likely be prescribed a sleep additive which is either pharmaceutical or natural. Non-narcotic sleep medications can be used to help reset the sleep cycle and make sure each client is getting enough rest. Natural remedies like melatonin, tryptophan, and/or valerian root could be used as well. Many other practices can contribute to better sleep, such as:

      • Limiting the use of social media before bed time
      • Limiting the use of technological devices before bed time
      • Not taking a nap after 4p.m.
      • Cutting off intake of caffeine or high amounts of sugar after 5p.m.
      • Practicing mindfulness meditation before bed

Balance, health, and wellness are invaluable components of recovery. At Enlightened solutions, we provide integrative partial care programs for addiction and dual diagnosis mental health issues. Bringing together twelve step philosophy, clinically proven care, and spiritual holistic healing, we strive to help clients start their recovery the right way. For more information, call 833-801-5483.

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