Why Is Sleep Important in Recovery?

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Unlocking the Healing Power of Sleep in Addiction Recovery

In December 2022, a group of researchers from the National Institutes of Health published a study that recommends sleep monitoring and measurements as predictors of relapse among people recovering from alcohol use disorder (AUD). The researchers argue that evaluating the sleep regularity index (SRI) in patients who complete residential programs can alert mental health professionals to increased risks of relapse. In essence, a lower SRI score denotes a diminished quality of sleep, which is strongly correlated with AUD relapse episodes. This is just one reason sleep is crucial in addiction recovery. Here are a few others.

Sleep Is the Ultimate Tool in Addiction Recovery

Drunk tanks, also known as sobering-up stations or detoxification centers, have a long history in the U.S. They date back to European law enforcement practices from the 18th century, and they’re based on the common-sense recommendation of “sleeping it off.” 

Although drunk tanks are part of traditional “scared straight” strategies of community policing, they reinforce the effectiveness of sleep as a healing biological process. All mental health professionals and sober lifestyle coaches agree that developing good sleep habits is one of the best things anyone can do while recovering from addictions. This is because neurons and brain circuits are reconditioned during sleep.

ecision-Making Processes Are Improved through Sleeping

Sleep deprivation impairs cognitive function. People who endure sleepless nights because of excessive drinking or stimulant abuse are more susceptible to poor decision-making, impulsivity, and weakened self-control. These are all impairments that will never be conducive to addiction recovery in Carlsbad, CA

On the other hand, adequate sleep helps in terms of improving cognitive function, strengthening self-control, and promoting clear thoughts. Recovery is all about making sound decisions, resisting impulsive thoughts, and learning about sobriety through self-control. If you’re not sleeping well during your journey to recovery, sobriety will be more difficult to achieve.

You Can Boost Your Immune System with Proper Sleep

Substance abuse and going through withdrawal weaken the immune system, thus leaving you more prone to getting sick. Sleep plays a vital role in strengthening your immune system, helping your body fight off infections, and staying healthy as you work through recovery. You don’t want to face a nasty viral or bacterial infection during detoxification because this is when your immune system is weak. It’s important to remember a sober lifestyle is essentially a holistic lifestyle that starts with getting good sleep.

The Magic of Rapid-Eye Movement (REM) Makes a Difference

A good night’s sleep isn’t complete without a period of REM sleep lasting a few minutes. You know you’re getting adequate REM sleep when you can remember at least one dream that was positive, funny, or puzzling. This is when the brain processes emotional experiences such as guilt, shame, and anxiety. REM sleep allows you to process these emotions in a safe dream space, thus promoting emotional healing and reducing the risk of relapse triggers. Getting the full REM benefit requires you to develop healthy sleep habits without taking substances or medications that interfere with your dreams.

If you’re concerned about a loved one’s level of drinking or drug use but don’t know where to turn, a good place to start is with an interventionist. Carlsbad residents can trust the expertise and experience of the compassionate team at Sober Lifestyle Coaching. Our interventions are guided by love and compassion for the addict to ensure he or she doesn’t feel attacked or judged. In addition, our interventions are well structured and appropriate for coaxing a willingness to change in your loved one who may resist accepting help such as treatment, detox, or rehab. As part of our comprehensive intervention services, we also offer the support of a dedicated Sober Companion to accompany your loved one on the journey to recovery, providing the care and guidance he or she needs in daily life. To learn more about how we can help you or someone you love, call us today.