Detoxing from drugs or alcohol puts your body through a lot of stress. Your body feels a shock as it has to suddenly adapt to its usual processes without the now physical need for the substances you’ve been giving it. You are likely to feel a lot of unpleasant side effects, including nausea, headaches, muscle aches, hot flashes, mood swings, and just general discomfort.
No wonder then that you may also find it difficult to sleep while you are going through detox (and even for a while afterward). Yet your body needs quality sleep to help it in its healing process and to free you of those unpleasant symptoms more quickly. Whether you are going through detox at an addiction clinic or in a private facility (like your home), here are five things you can do to help you beat insomnia and get the healing sleep you need:
Your body is a creature of habit. That’s a bad thing when it comes to drugs and alcohol, but it’s a good thing when you’re trying to create healthier habits. You can train your body to sleep at consistent times, and that will make it naturally go into sleep and wake cycles at the appropriate times.
Starting with your initial treatment or stay at an addiction therapy center, set a schedule for when you will wake up and when you will go to sleep, and stick to it every day. Stick to your schedule even on the weekends and days off from work. Set an alarm, and do everything you can to get out of bed at that time. Make sure you are in bed each night at the same time, even if it does take you a while to actually sleep. Eventually, your body will fall into that schedule, and you won’t struggle to sleep when it is time.
Another way you can train your body to sleep is to create a routine around bedtime. Think of it like Pavlov’s dog, who was trained to salivate every time he heard the sound of a bell. Your body will start to associate certain smells, sensations, or routines with sleep, and when you engage in them in the future, you will trigger your body to sleep easily.
Create a bedtime routine to encourage your body to sleep when it’s time. That might mean brushing your teeth, reading a bit, drinking a glass of water, or putting on lotion. You can include any activities in your routine. The key is to do the same activities in the same order at the same time, even if it’s just to put on your pajamas and brush your teeth before getting in bed.
Exercise can help to regulate your hormones and your energy levels, both of which influence your sleep. By working out regularly, you will prime your body to sleep each night – and to sleep well. Those who have a regular exercise routine are likely to spend more time in deep sleep, which is the restorative sleep we all need to heal and be healthy. Getting this kind of sleep regularly can help you through the detox and recovery process.
Drinking a lot of caffeine can make you so wired that you can’t fall asleep easily – even if you’ve been lying in bed for hours. Sugar and other stimulants can have the same affect. Though you might find yourself reaching for these during detox to provide some of the stimulation you are lacking, you should refrain. You’ll only prolong your symptoms.
Try to eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein and healthy fats. Reach for water or herbal tea for your beverages. It might sound boring if it’s not what you’re used to, but after your body adjusts, you’ll find it’s the kind of diet you crave. You’ll also love the way it makes you feel – and how much better you sleep.
You are likely going to feel fatigued a lot during the detox process. But if you are experiencing insomnia, you should fight the urge to take naps during the day. It is only going to disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. You may even shift your cycle so that you are more awake at night and are sleeping more during the day.
If you absolutely can’t stay awake during the day, reduce the amount of time you are napping until you eliminate naps altogether. You’ll help train your body to sleep at night instead of during the day.
Detox can be a difficult part of your addiction treatment, and failing to get the sleep you need can make the experience much worse. Following these steps can help you get more of the restful sleep you need each night to make it through detox and to create a healthier lifestyle moving forward.
Corebella Health and Wellness is ready to help you create the healthy life you want free of drugs and alcohol. Our Mesa drug rehab center provides group counseling, pain management, and addiction treatment services with help from compassionate, Chandler addiction treatment doctors. We also offer wellness services like massage therapy and diet counseling to help you create a healthier lifestyle. Contact us today to learn about our addiction therapy and wellness services in Glendale and Tempe.