Early recovery offers an array of challenges. In addition to being newly sober, those in early recovery are forced to face life and its problems without the use of substances. This is usually a monumental challenge, and anything from showering to going to the grocery store seems totally different in the early stages of recovery. Addiction likely leaked into every aspect of the individual’s life. Towards the end, every activity was completed with a buzz. Being under the influence became a prerequisite for all things. A common activity that is hindered by addiction is sleeping.
Sleeping is also hard to attain in early recovery. Mental and physical changes, coupled with having to process a drastically different life, lead to many hours lying awake in bed. Recent studies have indicated that individuals in early recovery are 5 times more likely than the general population to experience insomnia. These studies also typically indicate that insomnia in early recovery raises the risk of relapse.
Insomnia and addiction are closely linked across the board. Individuals who experience insomnia are more likely to develop addictions, and individuals with addictions are more likely to experience insomnia.
Sleep, like all other activities, was easier to achieve in addiction if a certain ritual was upheld. Many times, if any step in the ritual was excluded, the activity became difficult or impossible to complete. One aspect of the ritual will almost always include using the drug of choice, but many times the ritual goes deeper than that. The dose, method of consumption, time, and location must all be orchestrated perfectly to accomplish the task. Sleep is almost always one of these tasks.
With the ritualistic mindset so engrained in those with addictions, it can be hard to accomplish sleep or other tasks sober. The motivational engine behind the machine has been removed. Sleeping, and other day-to-day activities, will have to be completely re-learned.
The importance of recovering in a safe, supportive environment cannot be stressed enough. Trouble sleeping will lead to trouble doing everything awake. Without adequate sleep, those in early recovery face a difficult challenge with dulled senses and slower thinking. A residential treatment program, with a recovery curriculum that fills the addict’s day, leaves the body and mind tired and at peace at the end of the day. Facing early recovery with a fresh body and mind, coupled with profession care designed to help learn how to accomplish life’s challenges sober, provide the best chance for long term recovery.
If you are interested in learning more about our program, contact us for additional information about how to achieve long-term recovery.