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Improving Your Sleep


Sleep is a huge component of trauma recovery and addiction recovery. If you’re struggling to get enough restful sleep, your recovery is taking a toll. On the other hand, your trauma and addiction may be impacting your sleep, causing problems. This leads to an endless negative cycle. Part of your recovery is listening to your body when it is sending you signals. If your body is urging you to get more sleep, listen to it. Sleep is essential, so treat it like so.

Signs That You Need More Sleep

You may not think that sleep is an issue for you, but the way you feel may be telling a different story. You just might not notice that these signs point to a lack of restful sleep. One indicator that you may need to improve your sleeping habits is a busy mind that you can’t silence. Of course, we all lead busy lives, deal with stress, and get overwhelmed occasionally. However, if you are constantly thinking about worries and frustrations to the point where it becomes obsessive, you might benefit from more sleep.

This unending loop, however, may cause you to lay awake at night and struggle to fall asleep. In order to fall asleep, you’re going to have to quiet your mind. This takes practice. We’ll get to that later. Another sign that you need more sleep is constantly having tense muscles. These tense muscles may even impact your ability to fall asleep at night. In addition to tense muscles, you may be experiencing aches and pains in your neck and back, headaches, or general muscle tension.

The less sleep you get, the worse these problems may be the next morning. This leads to an unhealthy cycle of sleep. Lastly, you may find your heart racing as you lay your head down on the pillow at night. This could be due to increased stress hormones which can keep you from falling asleep. Like the signs mentioned above, a lack of sleep due to this problem will leave you feeling poorly the next day.

Unfortunately, many people seem to accept that they’ll never be able to get enough sleep. They try to rationalize their lack of sleep by saying that they are able to improve other areas of their life, like work or school performance. Here’s the thing, however: you may think you are thriving on a lack of sleep, but you aren’t. Poor sleeping patterns impact all areas of your life in a negative way.

The Myth

When it comes to improving your sleep, you may think that alcohol can help. After all, it does help to sedate you, making it easier for you to fall asleep. The belief that alcohol can improve your sleep is a myth, however. In fact, alcohol can be a detriment to getting enough restful sleep because it impacts both the quality and the quantity of the sleep you are getting. This is because alcohol disrupts your body’s clock and doesn’t allow your body to make the amounts of melatonin that it needs.

It also sends your body, specifically your liver, into overdrive which impacts your rest. Furthermore, drinking alcohol before bed has even proven to impact rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is extremely essential for helping you wake up rested. Because your body is busy metabolizing the alcohol you drank only a few hours before, it slips into a deep sleep when it should be in REM sleep. REM sleep is when you dream, as well as being vital to emotional health.

Not spending enough time in REM sleep can lead to cognitive impairment the following day. During the second half of the night, the body has a chance to stop working so hard to metabolize the alcohol, so it slips into a lighter sleep. This is why many people often find themselves wide-awake early in the morning after a drink or two at night and unable to fall back asleep. Finally, the more you rely on alcohol to help you fall asleep, the more problems you are setting yourself up for, aside from the ones listed above.

If you have gotten used to using alcohol to help you fall asleep, your body begins to depend on it. Then, when you don’t have alcohol before bed, you’re going to find yourself struggling to fall asleep. This is why it’s a better idea to steer clear of alcohol in the evenings. You’ll thank yourself later.

Improving Your Sleep and Recovery

One great first step to improving your sleep is to make relaxation in the evenings your goal. Create an environment that helps get your body into a restful mode. This means turning off electronic devices about an hour before you plan to go to bed. Instead, you can pick up a book or try some meditation.

The goal is to let go of the things that stimulate your brain so that your brain knows it’s time to relax and go to sleep. You can do some calming things like going for an evening stroll and then taking a warm bath, followed by some deep breathing exercises. These things can be beneficial for the evening, but also for when you are struggling to help calm down throughout the day.

Recovery is all about finding ways to help you improve and make each day a little bit easier. You don’t want to feel like you are running a marathon just to keep yourself on track. This is why routines are a great way to keep you on the road to recovery. Sleep isn’t the only thing you should focus on in your recovery, but it is vital to helping you be successful the next day.

The Guest House is here to help you improve your sleep and your recovery. Call us today at (855) 372-1079. We can’t wait to speak with you and get you started with us today!