The Role of Sleep in Opiate Addiction Treatment
Recovery from addiction is a long process that requires extensive dedication and external support.
One factor people often underestimate, however, is the importance of sleep in opiate addiction treatment.
At its core, addiction is an illness. And, just like any other illness, proper sleep is necessary to recover from it.
Let’s take a look at why sleep is so essential to recovery.
Sleep Promotes Good Health
When a person is in recovery, it is important to work on improving their overall health.
Getting proper sleep is a necessary component of a healthy lifestyle. Without consistent sleep, the body cannot fight against infections or chronic illnesses.
In the same way, without sufficient sleep, your body will not be able to break its addiction to opiates.
Sleep Aids Opiate Addiction Treatment
In addition to being important to overall health, there is evidence that sleep actually helps people recover from drug addiction more quickly.
According to recent studies, addiction recovery patients who reported getting a good night’s sleep had more success in overcoming their cravings for drugs and alcohol.
By contrast, patients who struggled with getting sleep also struggled in breaking their bodies’ dependents on harmful substances.
Remember, at its core, addiction is an illness. Like any other illness, your body needs proper sleep in order to fight it.
The Struggle with Insomnia
That said, the process of needing sleep to recover from drug addiction can lead to a frustrating and vicious cycle.
When a person ingests drugs or alcohol, these substances impact the body’s normal functions. Being in an altered state can disrupt the body’s natural sleep cycle, and often causes insomnia.
Additionally, when a person uses drugs their body becomes dependent on them. For this reason, insomnia can get worse when a patient quits drugs.
Thus, the vicious cycle. In order to overcome drug addiction and cravings, the body needs sleep. At the same time, addiction can make it difficult to sleep, which in turn makes the cravings stronger.
Getting a Good Night’s Rest
Even so, there are things that opiate addiction patients can do to get a better night’s sleep.
One recommendation doctors make is to eliminate distractions. A good way to do this is by making your room a dedicated sleep space.
Removing televisions, radios, and other electronics from the bedroom signals to your brain that the room is a place for sleeping, not entertainment.
Additionally, while it may be tempting to just lie in bed until you fall asleep, this strategy can actually be counterproductive. The longer you lay awake, the more anxious you will get about your inability to fall asleep. The more anxious you get, the harder it will be for your body to relax.
Instead, if you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s a good idea to get up and do a relaxing activity. Reading a book or listening to soft music are activities that can help your brain settle down and get ready for bed.
Even with good sleep, however, addiction recovery requires a lot of support. If you or someone you know is ready to start opiate addiction treatment, contact us so we can match you with the program that is right for you.
Reviewed and Assessed by
Taylor Brown, B.A.Com., MAADC II
Tim Coleman, M. of Ed.