Beating Insomnia During Addiction Recovery

Beating Insomnia During Addiction Recovery

It can be a challenge to get some sleep when you are in early recovery for addiction. Our minds and bodies are adjusting to not having those abusive substances keep us up at night. By using stress reduction techniques and making sure you are in a dark environment where the light cannot get in, you should be able to sleep soundly.

Insomnia During Alcohol Withdrawal

There are people who drink alcohol thinking it will help their insomnia to get them to fall asleep. The truth is that alcohol increases the time it takes to fall asleep, disrupts sleep time, and increases snoring and apnea. Symptoms can be nightmares, having trouble falling asleep, racing thoughts through the night, etc. Without proper treatment to sleep, your sleep cycle can worsen over time.

Light Exposure

Exposure to the morning sunlight is telling our body that it is time for a new day. The stress hormone cortisol gets released to help us get out of bed. We do not want this hormone to be activated at night too. By having our television, computer, smart phones, and tablet screens on, the blue light tells our bodies to shut down the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Cortisol is produced instead which makes us alert and awake which makes it harder for us to fall asleep. You should add blue light blocking apps to your smartphones and tablets as well as programming your television to turn off an hour before it is time to go to bed. You should instead read a book or listen to soft music like new age or classical. If you prefer to read from a tablet such as a Nook or a Kindle, turn the light off of the Kindle or just listen to an audiobook.

Change Your Sleep Environment

Remember that the sole purpose of your bedroom is to go to sleep. Take a good look at your bed so that you can train your mind that this room is meant for sleeping. It helps to make a clear path of your bed so that there is nothing around that can distract you. This involves picking up your clothes from the floor, straightening your desk, and clearing any clutter off of your bed like excess pillows or stuffed animals. You should also make sure that your room is the right temperature such as making sure that you are sleeping with the fan on to prevent sweating in your sleep. You also do not want to be too cold either so you should make sure that the temperature of your room is 60-70 degrees, according to The National Sleep Foundation.

Keep your room as dark as possible so that no excess light comes in. This may involve closing your blinds or having a shade cover your window. If you want music or other sounds from your television, turn on the function that only turns the picture off. If there are any LED lights still sticking out from your electronics, cover them up with masking tape. A sleeping mask is also a good alternative is light is still able to come into your room as well as wearing reusable earplugs so that you no longer hear anyone in your house or the busy streets.

Nightly Stress Reduction Techniques

You should end the day feeling stress-free and looking forward to the day that will come tomorrow. One stress reduction technique you can do is journal all of your thoughts that are racing in your head right now. Make a recap of all of the good things that have happened to you today and what you look forward to doing tomorrow. If you made any mistakes today in regards to your recovery, write down what you would like to work on and a solution to ensure that it will not happen again. Journaling can be a great way to wipe the slate clean instead of sleeping with those stressful thoughts in your head keeping you up at night.

Another stress reduction technique would be to relax our breathing. Remember that how we breathe is the one thing that we can control from our autonomic nervous system. Try to breathe in for six seconds, hold for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds or visualize a box when you breathe. This will help activate the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system which is responsible for how we rest. Meditating for five minutes before it is time to sleep can also be a useful tool to activate the theta brain waves which is associated with deep sleep. This can help us better relax when we have had a stressful day and make it easier to relax to help us fall asleep.

Sleep Supplements

While you may think taking sleeping pills is a wise choice to help you fall asleep, they can also be habit forming and cause you to form another addiction. Taking relaxing herbs, botanicals, and amino acid supplements can be a good alternative to sleep medications without any bad side effects. There is tryptophan which produces melatonin and makes you naturally sedated. There is also gaba which calms and relaxes the neurotransmitters and reduces anxiety. Lemon balm can improve mood as well as promote relaxation. By using any of these techniques at night to help fall asleep, not only will this increase your chances of a successful recovery but also a good night’s sleep.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Sleep Deprivation and Psychosis

Sleep Deprivation and Psychosis

Sleep deprivation is an unfortunate struggle that is all too common among those with addiction. When a person had been engaging in stimulants, there’s a much greater chance that there had been a lack of sleep. Some people go for days without sleep and the longer the abuse takes place, the higher risk there is for someone to slip into an early psychosis or psychosis. There is hope in coming back from this state, but there are many people out there for which it was too late.

Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse have become a popular aid for students and others who need an extra boost. These are meant for those with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Unfortunately, it has become easy for many to lie to a psychiatrist to gain access to this “miracle pill”. It may work great in the beginning, but once any abuse takes place, it’s like any other high. Those with addiction can then be headed down a dangerous path.

People can sometimes feel euphoric after pulling an all-nighter. This sleep loss leads to bad judgment and poor decision-making skills. Combining the lack of sleep and food will put an anyone on a path to destruction of the body psychically and mentally.

Those living with mental disorders already have a sleep barrier. Sleep patterns become disrupted by the countless mood swings of the brain, enabling rapid eye movement (REM) sleep to occur when balanced. This is why it can be a difficult process while stabilizing in early recovery. People need sleep to balance the mood, but at this time the mood is keeping the person from sleeping.

There are many guided meditations to help people find a sleep pattern that can prevent tossing and turning all night. At such a painful time in life, it’s also important to turn the mind away from negative talk and imagery. Guided meditations can take people into a safe, comforting place for much needed sound sleep.

If you are struggling mentally and physically with addiction, please start with us on the road to recovery. Recovery is the most beautiful possibility if you are willing to take it! Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach that can help you take back your life. Don’t waste one more day and call us here in New Jersey. 833-801-5483.


Not Sleeping? These Could Be The Reasons Why

Sleep is a time where the body can relax and heal in between active days of growth. If you’re not sleeping, look to some of these reasons. If you’re continuing to have a hard time sleeping, talk to your counselor or doctor.

You’re Napping Too Much

Napping feels like the answer to a lack of sleep. Unfortunately, napping during the day does not make up for lost time the night before, even when they feel refreshing. Too much napping can lead to disturbed sleep. If you sleep a lot during the day and don’t sleep at night, that could be your reason why.

You Use Your Phone Before Sleep

The blue light behind phone and computer screens have been scientifically proven to create mental stimulation. Too much screen time before bed can cause your brain to think it is awake. The blue light is meant to simulate daylight, which triggers the brain to be awake. Try installing an app like F.lux which darkens your screen with natural tones as the night time hours increase.

You’re Processing Something

Your mind might be running because you’re coming up on a breakthrough in treatment and in therapy. Even if you can’t completely articulate it yet, you feel as though your brain is hard at work on a secret mission. Try to meditate and drink some herbal tea, trusting that the relief will come soon.

You’re Avoiding Something

If you aren’t processing something than you might be avoiding something. Ignoring and avoiding your feelings takes a lot more work than it used to! Without drugs and alcohol, it is harder to stuff down things you don’t want to deal with. That stress can cause you to stay awake and be restless.

You’re Drinking Too Much Caffeine

Coffee, caffeinated teas, sugar, and energy drinks are all going to keep you buzzed and awake. A general rule is to stop consuming caffeine around four or five o’clock. You’ll give your body enough time to metabolize the caffeine and circle it out of the system.

You’re Hungry

Another thing that might be keeping your system alert is hunger. Generally it isn’t the best choice to eat late at night. If you haven’t eaten enough during the day or skipped over dinner, a quick meal might be what you need to fall asleep. Avoid fried, oily foods- the digestion process will keep you awake.

Enlightened Solutions promotes a healthy, holistic lifestyle through the use of alternative medicines, practices, and an organic diet. In addition to a clinically proven treatment program, we provide clients with the life skills they need to live a balanced life of recovery. For more information, call 833-801-5483 today.