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10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Sleep in Recovery

It’s no secret that substance use disorders completely disrupt natural sleep patterns. Drug or alcohol addiction effects each aspect of life, which is why a comprehensive addiction treatment is needed to learn and build a new way of life. Addiction recovery requires learning new skills, coping mechanisms, and replacing bad habits with healthy ones, among other things.

Sleep is extremely important in overall wellness.

Mental, emotional, and physical health are all effected by poor sleep or inconsistent sleep patterns. In addiction recovery, we encourage guests to establish consistent routines that will promote a healthy way of living. With proper sleep, the brain can function normally. Many people suffer from sleep disorders, like chronic sleep deprivation, insomnia, sleep apnea, night terrors, and other sleep issues. We encourage guests who have documented sleep problems to use these methods of improving sleep, in addition to following the advice of any medical professional like their doctor or a primary care physician.

The following list is 10 ways to improve sleep in addiction recovery:

1. Create a bedtime routine

Creating a bedtime routine will teach your brain when to settle down for sleep. Performing a series of the same tasks each night, will build up the evidence that the tasks lead to going to sleep. For example, your bedtime routine may look like: washing your face, changing into pajamas, brushing your hair, brushing your teeth, and flossing before you lay down in bed. Doing these same tasks each night will cue your brain to recognize that you are getting ready for bed, and the brain will slowly “shut off” in preparation.

2. Create a music playlist

Choose relaxing music, with soft beats and slow tempos— these types of songs will actually trigger a “relaxation response,” which will slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and calm you down. Think soft sounds and light music.

3. Wind down with coloring books

Coloring in a coloring book will create almost a pattern of small menial tasks that allow your brain to focus and relax. Coloring in a coloring book does not require any deep thinking— so it is the perfect activity to allow you to wind down.

4. Read a chapter before bed

Make a habit of reading a chapter of a book, before turning off the lights completely and going to sleep. Having a healthy habit that remains consistent is the perfect way to work yourself into a routine. Having a set measurement, like a chapter each night or 10 pages each night, whatever you choose, allows for you to stay consistent.

5. Meditate

Meditate before sleep, as it allows your brain to relax and stay presently in the moment. Meditating has both short term and long term health benefits, as it is known to help support mental health, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep patterns.

6. Practice twenty minutes of yoga

Tire yourself out before bed by practicing yoga before you hit the sheets. Yoga has many health benefits, and is perfectly aligned with our holistic approach to treatment in Royal Life Centers at Puget Sound. Twenty minutes of yoga is the perfect way to tire yourself, making it easier to both fall and stay asleep. Light movement yoga is best for the nighttime, as it will not work the body up too much, causing an influx of energy.

7. Stretch

If yoga seems like too much activity for you to do before bed, try practicing some light stretching. Stretching will allow for increased blood flow, which is healthy for your body and it’s functioning. Light stretching will not elevate your heart rate, making it a nice and easy practice to ease you into bedtime.

8. Drink a cup of tea

Warm liquid eases the body, and naturally makes us more able to relax— as we focus only on the present moment. Focusing on the taste, the heat coming from the mug, the smell, the smoke rising from the cup, the feeling of the liquid going down your throat; drinking a cup of tea is a mindfulness exercise.

9. Put your phone and devices away

Although simple, putting your devices away before bed is one of the most important things to do. The blue light that cellphones and electronic devices emit, actually disrupts your brain’s ability to produce melatonin— which is the hormone that creates your natural sleep cycle. Ideally, put your cellphone and devices away at least an hour before it’s time to go to bed for a healthy sleep cycle.

10. Take a warm bath or shower

Wind down at the end of the day with a warm bath or shower. This is a great healthy habit to make that can fit nicely into a bedtime routine. A warm bath is perfect to relax your mind and body, and is actually therapeutic for your muscles. Taking a nice warm bath is a type of hydrotherapy, and you can even add essential oils or scented bubble bath to enhance the sensory details— creating an aromatherapeutic experience. Try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil into your bath water for a calming, relaxing and sleep-inducing bedtime ritual.

Replacing bad habits with healthy habits is a part of the recovery process. Our guests at Royal Life Centers at Puget Sound will learn many coping skills and healthy activities to create nourishing routines. We promote self-care, finding the things that bring you happiness, and anything to enhance holistic healing. Royal Life Centers at Puget Sound provides intensive therapies to treat alcohol and drug abuse. Royal Life Centers at Puget Sound guests enjoy individual therapy sessions, group therapy, and art therapy. We also provide medication-assisted treatment, which is medication alongside behavioral therapies. We have the goal of lasting sobriety for each of our guests, which is why our treatment options were created to follow guests through the recovery process. During treatment, we will introduce guests to 12-step programs of recovery like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Gambler’s Anonymous, etc. We also provide group therapy models to discuss topics like grief and loss, anger management, and how to prevent relapse.

Our treatment programs at Royal Life Centers at Puget Sound include our medical detox program and a residential inpatient program. Royal Life Centers also provides treatment options that include: a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing.

If you would like to know more about Royal Life Centers at Puget Sound, our treatment options, or our other locations, please reach out to our addiction specialists toll free at (877)-RECOVERY or (888) 308-1985. Our team is available to take your call 24/7. Because We Care.

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