A good nights sleep can be hard to come by for those in addiction recovery. A research study performed at the University of Michigan found that children who had difficulty sleeping between the ages of three and five were twice as likely to develop chemical abuse as teenagers than those who were restful sleepers. It seems that addiction and insomnia can go hand in hand. Both can feel like debilitating conditions, but with the right tools and resources they can be challenges not curses.
To overcome a challenge one can benefit from a focused and positive frame of mind. In this scenario, try to look at sleep as a competitive sport:
Night Time Training
Look at the hour before bed as your pre-game stretching. It’s your time to warm up for a stellar sleep performance. A bedtime routine sends a strong signal to your brain that it’s time to slow down and get serious about sleep.
If you want to be asleep by 10:00 pm start this routine at 9:00 pm
- Wash your face and brush your teeth (5 minutes)
- Pick out your clothes for the next day (10 minutes)
- Journal some reflections and memories from the day. *People in the 12 Step community like to take this time to do their 10 th Step. (15 minutes)
- Meditate (10 minutes)
- Hop on into bed and sleep tight!
Day Time Training
Exceptional athletes train around the clock for their sport. Do the same by being mindful of the following activities and when you are doing them:
- Everyone needs a different amount of sleep; 6 to 9 hours. Establish how much you need and then set your bedtime and rise time around those hours. Rise and turn in at the SAME time each night (even on weekends.) This routine will establish your circadian rhythms which will help you have much more restful sleep. *If you want to get more sleep during the weekend then add that in as a nap during the day.
- Six hours before sleep stop drinking caffeinated drinks as they are stimulants that affect sleep.
- Three hours before sleep stop any vigorous work out activity, as it can be stimulating.
- Two before sleep stop eating, as digestion, heartburn and gas can disturb sleep.
- One hour before sleep put down all of your screens (phone, computer, T.V., etc…) as the light from them supresses melatonin, the hormone that creates sleepiness.
A little game plan, strategy and focus and you’ll be winning when it comes to sleeping.