Prioritizing sleep is an essential part of addiction recovery. Healthy sleep habits can support your overall well-being and enhance your journey toward healing and stability. The amount and quality of sleep you get dramatically impacts your mood, energy levels, concentration, and overall mental health. Lack of sleep can worsen mental health issues like depression and anxiety, which are common challenges in recovery. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Getting enough sleep comes with a host of mental and physical health benefits, including:

  • Improved mood and emotional regulation
  • Increased energy levels and productivity 
  • Better concentration and cognitive function
  • Lower stress levels
  • Strengthened immune system

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Mood

Have you ever felt incredibly grumpy, short-tempered, or depressed after a poor night’s sleep? That’s because lack of sleep directly impacts your mood and emotional state. Some of the ways sleep deprivation can negatively impact your mood include:

  • Cause irritability and anger 
  • Increase feelings of sadness and depression
  • Cause anxiety and stress
  • Intensify mood swings
  • Lack of motivation

A lack of sleep on a regular basis can greatly increase your risk of developing or worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders and increase your risk for relapse.

Tips for Getting Better Sleep 

If you’ve been struggling with insomnia, sleep difficulties, or just not feeling well-rested, here are some tips that may help:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule: Maintaining a consistent sleep-wake cycle is crucial for regulating your body’s internal clock. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day; this includes weekdays and even the weekends. This regularity can help reinforce your natural sleep-wake rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Establish a calming pre-bed ritual that signals to your mind and body that it’s time to wind down. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, practicing gentle yoga or stretching, or listening to soothing music. A consistent routine can help you transition from the day’s stresses to a more relaxed state, preparing you for better sleep.
  • Consider your sleep environment: Create an environment conducive to restful sleep by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. To block out light, use blackout curtains or an eye mask. To minimize sounds, you can use earplugs or a white noise machine. Eliminate distractions like televisions, computers, and phones from your sleep space, as the blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
  • Get regular exercise and time outside: Regular physical activity and exposure to natural light during the day can help regulate your circadian rhythms and promote better sleep at night. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, and try to get outside for some natural light exposure, even if it’s just a short walk.
  • Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation: Practices like deep breathing and mindfulness meditation can help calm your mind and reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can interfere with sleep. Incorporating these techniques into your bedtime routine can promote a more relaxed state, making falling and staying asleep easier.
  • Avoid caffeine and large meals before bed: Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake, so avoid it for at least 6-8 hours before bedtime. Large meals can cause discomfort and make it harder to fall asleep, so opt for a light snack instead. 

When to Seek Help

If sleep issues significantly impact your overall well-being, mental health, and ability to engage in daily activities or recovery-related tasks, seeking professional assistance is strongly advisable.  

Remember, seeking professional help is a courageous step towards enhancing your sleep quality and overall recovery journey. By acknowledging the need for support and taking action, you are demonstrating a commitment to your well-being and a willingness to overcome challenges.

Are you or a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder? Help is available at  Mountain Laurel Recovery Center in Westfield, Pennsylvania. We offer a variety of programs and services to put you on the path to a lasting recovery. To learn more, please contact us today!