Did you know that there’s a proven connection between sleep quality and addiction recovery? It’s easy to think of addiction as a purely mental phenomenon, but it can have profound effects on your physical health, including disrupting your sleep. And when you’re trying to quit drugs or alcohol, trouble sleeping can make the process even harder.
The quality of your sleep is important, and it’s just as important that you know what to expect during addiction recovery. Keep reading for information about quitting drugs and alcohol, sleep quality, and the connection between the two.
The Connection Between Sleep Quality and Addiction Recovery
If you (or someone you know) are dealing with addiction, then you know how disruptive substance abuse can be. Addiction doesn’t just worsen mental health and exacerbate mental illness symptoms—it also affects your body’s physical well-being. Specifically, alcohol and drug abuse can disrupt your sleep cycle in concerning ways.
Abusing drugs or alcohol can make it much harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Humans have something called a circadian rhythm—the 24-hour cycle that regulates healthy sleep patterns. But when chronic alcohol and drug abuse is introduced, that rhythm becomes disrupted, It becomes harder to fall asleep, and just as importantly, it becomes harder to get quality sleep.
And that’s a problem, because your physical health relies on healthy sleep. But because drugs and alcohol alter brain and body functionality, experts agree that addiction can cause a slew of problems due to a lack of restful sleep. For example, many drugs, from opioids to cocaine, alter how awake or alert your body is. And whether they’re making you tired when you shouldn’t be or waking you up when you should be tired, these drugs can do real harm to your sleep cycle and your overall health.
The connection between sleep quality and addiction recovery goes both ways, though. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, having a sleep disorder can increase your risk of developing a co-occurring substance use disorder. This happens when someone can’t sleep when they need to or can’t stay awake when they need to, and they turn to sleep aids or stimulants to try to regulate their sleep. Over time, dependence can develop, which may eventually grow into addiction.
Moreover, sleep deprivation can easily lead to mental health issues, which may in turn contribute to substance abuse. Without proper sleep, your stress and mental illness symptoms are likely to increase. Moreover, it’s harder to employ healthy coping mechanisms without adequate rest, which can fuel mental health conditions. In fact, poor sleep quality can cause:
- Anxiety and stress
- Reckless behaviors
- Increased substance abuse
- Memory loss
As we’ve established, the connection between sleep quality and addiction recovery is two-fold. Abusing drugs and alcohol often leads to sleep disorders, and sleep disorders can easily lead to drug and alcohol addiction. And when you’re in this cycle, breaking it can feel impossible.
Studies have shown that individuals with co-occurring substance use disorders and sleep disorders are more likely to relapse. This creates an extra hurdle, since drugs and alcohol lead to sleep disorders, but the sleep disorders make it even harder to quit. However, quitting is still possible. With professional and community support, you can make a complete recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Getting Help to Quit Drugs and Alcohol
As you can see, the connection between sleep quality and addiction recovery makes quitting very difficult. But you can still do it. With professional addiction treatment, you can find care that addresses both substance use disorders and difficulty sleeping.
And that support is going to prove crucial as you start recovery, since people often experience sleep disturbances during withdrawals. And when you’re struggling with these issues, especially in early recovery, support makes all the difference.
After safely detoxing, you may notice that your sleep patterns still don’t return to normal. This is especially likely if you have been taking large amounts of drugs and alcohol for a long period of time. The good news is that these issues will eventually solve themselves as your body heals, but the bad news is that that can take time, and that’s time when you are especially vulnerable to relapse. That’s where we come in.
At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, our dual diagnosis program will help to keep you stabilized and working toward recovery during this vulnerable period. By addressing addiction, sleep disorders, and any co-occurring mental health issues, we offer complete and comprehensive healing. Some of our evidence-based treatment options include:
- Mental health screenings
- Crisis evaluation
- Medication management
- Group therapy
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Discharge planning
As you can see, we take every possible step to give you a great start at life without drugs and alcohol. And while we cannot always make sleep disorders or mental health issues go away, we can equip you with the tools you need to manage these issues in healthy, sober ways.
Are you ready to get help for your substance use disorder and sleeping troubles? Our friendly admissions specialists are standing by at 937-483-4930, or you can ask your questions online. Sleep quality and addiction recovery go hand in hand, and we’re ready to help address both.