Not being able to sleep, or insomnia can be really challenging for people in recovery. Unfortunately, many will wrestle with it because the brain and body are trying to adjust to not having drugs in the system. Having a routine can help, but other factors usually play a key role in how a person sleeps. Getting your restless mind to calm down is important if you want to feel more rested.
Get Rid of the Blues
It seems normal now, but therapists and others will warn people about the risks of keeping phones and laptops in the bedroom at night. Blue light from the screens stimulates the brain, suppressing melatonin release (which helps you sleep). It is best not to be up late at night working on the computer or staring at the phone right before bed. Switch devices to airplane mode or power down and keep them out of the bedroom, if possible. If not, then keep them at a fair enough distance they are not accessible to you and are not reachable at arms’ length.
Find a Book
Even if you haven’t read a book in a while, most people have something of interest they like to read or learn about. Check out the library for ideas on magazines and books that might be of interest. Even if it’s a cookbook, you could try to read a few pages to help you rest or switch you from day to night mode and help your brain rest.
Don’t Confuse Yourself
Using your bed as an office or workspace is going to confuse your body when it comes time for bed. If you answer emails or take phone calls, do this away from the bed. Find a desk or other space to conduct work and business, but use the bed only for sleeping. This trains the brain to think of the bed as space where sleep happens, not anything else. What helps is to keep all work-related objects, papers, pens, and other things off the bed to provide for better sleep at night.
Check Into History
One of the challenges of not being able to sleep in recovery is identifying why. Perhaps it is the racing mind issue or it is more than that. If trying a few basic techniques and tips don’t work, it may be time to consult a treating physician and ask for testing of any medication to see if that is what is causing insomnia.
Insomnia can be caused by myriad things. It is not always a one and done deal for most people. Every day brings new stress, situations, and happenstance. The key is to figure out what you need to do every day that may help you feel more at ease before bed. This may include setting a routine that you stick with so you feel more supported with getting the rest you need.
We believe rest is crucial to feeling your best in recovery. We strive to provide you with the best therapists and rehab professionals who care about offering you what you need to feel successful. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information about sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.