– April 21, 2017

Sleep cannot be emphasized enough for a healthy and balanced life in recovery. When nighttime falls, recovering addicts and alcoholics everywhere get antsy. There is something about the “witching hour” which causes anxiety, depression, and all around discomfort. The busyness of the day dies down, the meetings are over, and there is a sudden stillness in the world. Often, to make themselves more comfortable, those in recovery will keep themselves awake to the point of exhaustion until they finally give into sleep. In the beginning years, learning to unwind, relax, and be comfortable with downtime is a challenge- it’s just uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the side effects of sleeplessness are even more uncomfortable and can be damaging to health- mental, physical, and spiritual. Here are some new ways to make sure you fall asleep, stay asleep, and have more quality sleep.

Don’t Make Sleep A Big Deal

It’s possible that creating a preoccupation around sleep actually makes sleep more difficult. For example, sleep scientists have found that creating the “perfect” sleep situation actually makes it more challenging to fall asleep. The perfect pajamas, perfect position, perfect routine, perfect everything, creates a lot of pressure to fall asleep. Winding up the brain and ramping up nerves, not falling asleep can become extra stressful and extra exhausting.

Hide From The Light

Recovery is all about learning to live in the “sunlight of the spirit” but sleep needs to include as little light as possible. Three sources of light can interrupt good sleep: sunlight, moonlight, and light from your smartphone. Invest in a god pair of room darkeners or light blocking shades to help you sleep in the morning- though some studies suggest waking up with the sun is more natural for your circadian rhythm. When there’s going to be a full moon, make sure to wear an eye mask or have your curtains drawn. The light from the moon is equally awakening as sunlight. Lastly, the blue light behind your phone’s screen is designed to imitate daylight and keep you awake. Stop using your phone at least an hour before bedtime so your eyes and brain can adjust.

Count Your Blessings

If you’re falling asleep with a bunch of stress on your back, you aren’t likely to sleep deeply in the restorative, restful way that you need to sleep. Instead, opt for a quick gratitude check and count your blessings. You’ll take the stress off your shoulders and settle your energy into a more positive place.

Recovery is about learning how to live in a healthy way which supports your sobriety. Get Real Recovery has designed transformational and healing programs for building self-esteem in mind, body, and spirit. For more information on our residential and outpatient treatment programs, 866-983-3651.

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