One of the most commonly reported side effects in early recovery is insomnia and restless sleep. Alcoholics and heroin addicts tend to suffer from these side effects most. If you were addicted to both alcohol and heroin, you may find that your insomnia is intensified.
Getting the appropriate amount of rest in early recovery is essential as you try to repair your body and regain your strength. You don’t want to continue operating on low levels of energy. Additionally, lying awake at night is frustrating and can lead to negative thinking.
To help deal with your restless nights, you may be wondering if sleeping pills can help.
Sleep Aids Can Be Habit Forming
While it can be tempting to take a prescription sleep aid in early recovery, it’s best not to. Prescription medications like Ambien can be habit forming and create adverse or unpleasant side effects. Generally speaking, most sleeping pills are considered psychologically addictive but not physically addictive.
To promote better sleep, follow your continuing care plan. It should include a balance of regular exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy and alternative therapies to relax the mind and body and promote better sleep. In some cases, antidepressants may be prescribed.
Tips for Getting Through Insomnia in Early Recovery
Rest assured that insomnia will gradually lessen over time. In the meantime, here are some effective ways to get through your restless nights.
- Develop a sleep schedule and stick to it. Include appropriate times to turn in and wake up each day.
- If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing, like read a book.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages from the late afternoon and on.
- Avoid having a TV or other electronics in your bedroom. You want to promote a place for sleep, not entertainment.
- Avoid late-day napping.
- Create a relaxing routine before bed, such as taking a warm bubble bath, reading a book or dimming the lights.
- Try chamomile tea or warm milk before bedtime.
- Practice yoga or meditation to promote a more restful night.
Recovery must start somewhere. Call The River Source to arrange for a pre-assessment for yourself or a loved one. We specialize in holistic recovery for drug and alcohol users, and we have many unique programs that are affordable and effective.