The habitual abuse of drugs and/ or alcohol will cause an individual to develop a tolerance to the abused substance or substances. When a drug tolerance is built, one’s body begins to rely on the substance to function. The typical treatment process for substance abuse or addiction is comprised of three stages in sequential order: the detox stage, formal treatment program, and aftercare. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains detox as “a set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal. It denotes a clearing of toxins from the body of the patient who is acutely intoxicated and/ or dependent on substances of abuse.” Withdrawal symptoms will manifest during detox, as one’s body is devoid of the previously abused substance. Withdrawal symptoms are adverse symptoms that occur because of ceasing the use of a substance with which one’s body has become accustomed. Insomnia, for example, is linked to detox because it is highly common in those going through the drug and/ or alcohol withdrawal process.
Tips To Ease Insomnia
Insomnia is characterized by “the subjective complaint of difficulty falling or maintaining sleep, or nonrestorative sleep, producing significant daytime symptoms including difficulty concentrating and mood disturbances.” According to a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the occurrence of insomnia is five times higher for those in early recovery than in the general population. Fortunately, there are ways to help assuage this adverse withdrawal symptom. Consider the following suggestions to help cultivate and reinforce positive sleeping habits:
- Avoid an erratic sleep schedule: develop consistent sleep patterns by having a set bedtime and following it every day, as best as you can.
- Exercise daily: integrating regular exercise into your routine not only helps with releasing endorphins (the hormones in one’s body associated with feeling pleasure) but can also increase the production of melatonin (the body’s main sleep-inducing hormone).
- Eat smaller meals in the evening: eating a large dinner can interfere with your ability to fall asleep, as your body must work extra hard to digest a heavy load. Decreasing portion sizes and switching your larger meal of the day to lunchtime can help you reduce your digestive load in the evenings, which can help you fall asleep more naturally.
- Create a peaceful sleeping environment: research has found that the body naturally produces certain chemicals to help increase feelings of calmness and relaxation. When serotonin, known as the “feel-good” hormone, is released in a comfortable and/ or dark environment it is converted into melatonin.
- Refrain from using electronics at bedtime: one study found that individuals who refrained from using their smart phones and other screen-based devices an hour before bed gained twenty-one extra minutes of sleep at night.
- Try a weighted blanket: the purpose of weighted blankets is to put additional pressure on an individual’s body while they rest to help generate deep relaxation. The weight of the blanket works by stimulating the deep pressure touch (DPT) receptors of the body, triggering the release of serotonin. This, in turn, helps people achieve more meaningful rest by helping them fall asleep, and remain asleep longer.
Much of recovery is about replacing bad habits with healthy ones and taking small steps to improve your sleep hygiene practices can help mitigate insomnia and improve your overall wellbeing.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.