Quality sleep is an often-overlooked part of drug rehab, and it could be the key to lasting sobriety for some addicts. Our fast-paced society tends to undervalue proper rest, but rehab patients must not fall victim to this mentality. Poorly-rested people are extremely impaired in their abilities to handle stress, personal interactions, and drug cravings. In order to be successful in their recovery efforts, drug rehab patients and their loved ones must understand the importance of taking the time for plenty of sleep.
Sleep Deprivation and Addiction
Sleep deprivation due to lifestyle or insomnia may play a major role in the formation of drug and alcohol addictions. Being awake for extended periods of time can cause people to exhibit cognitive impairments similar to being drunk. People who routinely stay awake for forty-eight hours or more have even reported hallucinations. Overall, these impairments can lead to drastically lowered or altered inhibitions for people who face the temptations to use drugs.
Lack of sleep may also contribute to depression – a common cause of substance abuse. A 2007 neurological study showed that sleep-deprived people were far more sensitive to emotionally sensitive images and words than rested people. This could indicate that insomniacs are more likely to experience the kind of deep, frequent sadness that often leads people to self-medicate.
Fighting Cravings with Proper Rest
During and after drug rehab, it is crucial to fight cravings with consistent, quality sleep. Anyone who has gone on a diet knows how difficult it is to avoid unhealthy foods when they’re tired and hungry. These kinds of cravings pale in comparison to what drug addicts experience during withdrawal, post acute withdrawal, and even after successful rehabilitation. Sleep deprivation will only weaken addicts’ willpower by making them feel tired, lethargic, and irritable.
Making sleep a priority can also keep recovering addicts away from other activities which contribute to relapse. Partying, working late, and other nighttime habits not only take time away from rest – they present addicts with a myriad of triggers, stressors, and temptations.
Addressing Sleep Disorders
Drug use can also exacerbate sleeping problems in a variety of ways. For instance, heavy drinking alters people’s circadian rhythms – the biological “clock” responsible for rest and feeling tired. Cocaine and other stimulants tend to make sleep less restful. And although marijuana is sometimes medically distributed as a sleep aid, withdrawal can actually exacerbate insomniacs’ conditions. Thankfully, getting help with drug rehab can help people avoid these additional complications.
Preventing Sleep Aid Addiction
Addicts who complete treatment are already at risk for new addictions, but those with sleeping problems are especially susceptible to sleeping pill abuse. Prolonged post acute withdrawal symptoms can disrupt addicts’ sleep, as can their hectic work lives. People who begin self-medicating with sleeping pills can quickly fall into an addictive cycle where they can’t sleep at all without them. In fact, many of the celebrities who have died from drug overdose were taking massive amounts of these drugs. Addicts and non-addicts alike should focus on healthy, natural sleep to avoid this deadly problem.
Don’t let your insomnia or your drug addiction ruin your life. Call the number above for a toll-free consultation with one of our dedicated addiction counselors. With a proven drug rehab program, you can finally get the rest and relief you’ve been waiting for.