Getting Sleep While Going Through Withdrawls
Remember during the process of getting clean that withdrawal insomnia is only temporary for most people.
The more disciplined you are in following guidelines for good sleep hygiene, the quicker your withdrawal insomnia will disappear. Over time, your sleep patterns will return to normal and, quite often, the simplest things you can do are the best.
- Establish good sleeping habits. Replace bad habits with healthy ones. Avoid blue light from computer monitors, phones, & televisions. Don’t eat too late.
- Re-establish your body’s sleep cycle. Addiction can be difficult on your natural sleep cycle and your body may have become accustomed to staying up most of the night, break the cycle with high lumen light therapy early in the day.
- Real natural alternatives. Drink a delicious cup of warm, herbal tea before bed, try meditation, and stay active during the day. These are just a few natural approaches you can take to improving your sleep.
Try these first, as medications of any kind for sleep, usually have their own set of problems.
Good Sleep Is Crucial To Long-Term Recovery
Establishing good sleep habits — as difficult as that may be — early in your recovery can increase your chances of avoiding a relapse. You will hear this advice from former addicts, recovering alcoholics, and, most likely, your doctors and counselors as well.
A study of cocaine-addicted rats showed that sleep abnormalities increased the chances of relapse. Those animals that were able to have fewer interruptions and sleep longer were less likely to exhibit cravings for cocaine. The researchers speculate that the same association, even long after the withdrawal period, supports sleep-based therapies for people with cocaine addiction.
This is a very reasonable hypothesis because sleep is one of the keys to a healthy body. That is, after all, one of the goals for overcoming addiction. While it may seem impossible at the moment, whatever you can do to get a decent amount of sleep can help in your long-term recovery.
Chen B, Wang Y, Liu X, Liu Z, Dong Y, Huang YH. Sleep Regulates Incubation of Cocaine Craving. Journal of Neuroscience. 2015 Sep 30;35(39):13300-10. doi: 10.1523/.
DuPont RL. “Should Patients With Substance Use Disorders Be Prescribed Benzodiazepines?” No. Journal of Addiction Medicine. 2017 Mar/Apr;11(2):84-86. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000291.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Commonly Abused Drugs Charts. 2016.