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How Improving your Sleep can Help Recovery?

Sleep is restorative and healing, making it an essential part of successful substance use disorder treatment. Attaining quality sleep is easier said than done as many symptoms of side-effects of withdrawal and certain medications can make it more difficult to rest. Troubleshooting sleeping issues can be tricky, even with the help of medical professionals, so breaking down the various ways sleep can be improved during recovery can help lead patients to more restful nights.

Common Difficulties

People in recovery at Recovery Services of New Mexico often report having issues with getting consistent and restful sleep or sleeping through the night without waking up several times, especially in early recovery. This can be frustrating and may lead to triggering stress, along with bouts of drowsiness during the day. A sleep schedule that doesn’t coincide with daily responsibilities can be disruptive as patients work to get their lives back on track.

When a person is tired, it can also cause anxiety, racing thoughts and suppression of the immune system. Much of this is attributed to post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) in early recovery as the body becomes acclimated to medication-assisted treatment received at Recovery Services of New Mexico methadone and Suboxone® clinics.

Sleep Boosting Techniques

  • Exercise: While everyone is expected to be tired at the end of the day, sometimes the body and mind simply aren’t in sync. Light to moderate exercise can help promote regulation of the body’s circadian rhythm and help relaxation, especially for those who struggle with anxiety.

  • Light Therapy: The body’s circadian rhythm is most affected by light exposure, making it an important clue for the body to wake up or go to sleep. Light exposure therapy can help correct the body’s response to different times of the day, such as brightness in the morning and darkness at night, which can help combat sleep inertia and prepare the body to be awake or asleep.

  • Screen time: The blue lights emitted from computer and phone screens actually block the release of a sleep hormone called melatonin; reducing the use of these devices before bedtime can greatly help with falling asleep faster.

  • Diet: Avoiding spicy or sweet foods at night before sleep can improve the body’s sleep function, as well as staying away from refined fats and caffeine. These foods should be avoided, especially by midday, as they can have lasting effects into the evening.

  • Environment: A dark room that shades or shutters are essential to falling and staying asleep as well as a comfortable temperature for the body between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Noise machines or soundproofing can also help in louder city settings with street or foot traffic bustling below.

Sleep disorders during MAT at Recovery Services of New Mexico become challenging to manage for some because the treatment process for addiction can cause sleep issues. Those very sleep issues can lead to emotional and mental stress that increase the potential for relapse. Taking steps to create a daily sleep routine that helps prepare the body for rest will help those in treatment focus on the most critical aspects of healing while their bodies receive the proper rest required to work on their recovery goals. For more information, contact us now!


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