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Creating a Conducive Sleep Environment

Sleep is incredibly important for our mental health and healing from the damages caused by alcohol and drug addiction. However, it may be difficult to get proper sleep in early sobriety. We are often experiencing symptoms related to post-acute withdrawal that cause us to be anxious and have more difficulty falling and staying asleep.

The importance of sleep on mental health cannot be understated. According to a 2009 Harvard Mental Health Letter: “During “quiet” sleep, a person progresses through four stages of increasingly deep sleep. Body temperature drops, muscles relax, and heart rate and breathing slow. The deepest stage of quiet sleep produces physiological changes that help boost immune system functioning. The other sleep category, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, is the period when people dream. Body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing increase to levels measured when people are awake. Studies report that REM sleep enhances learning and memory, and contributes to emotional health — in complex ways.” Our ability to learn, feel peace and serenity, and properly engage in our recovery program are dependent on getting adequate sleep.

One of the best ways to help ourselves get proper sleep is by creating an environment that is conducive to sleeping. This means making minor changes to our sleep environment to help our brains associate our bedroom with sleep. The Alaska Sleep Clinic explains, “One of the biggest keys in maximizing the efficiency for sleep in your room is what you associate your room with. Ideally your room should be used for two purposes only: sleep and romance. Everything else done in your room serves no other purpose than to distract you from sleep.” Noise, light, and temperature are all things that can distract us from sleep. When we take away our televisions, limit the amount of light in our bedrooms, and adjust the temperature (ideally between 60 and 67 degrees), we will find that it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Even the way we decorate our rooms can contribute to distraction from sleep. Adam Sinicki, in a Health Guidance article entitled How to Make Your Room Conducive for Sleep, explains, “Likewise try to decorate your room with colours, items and images that will be relaxing and peaceful. In other words, it’s much better to have a picture of a scenic brook babbling through the forest than it is to have a loud and colourful picture of Optimus Prime punching Megatron in the face. Exciting images with garish colours and lots of movement are better saved for other rooms, whereas in your bedroom you should try to create a minimalistic calm.” With these minor changes we can improve our sleep quality and feel more motivated throughout the day to effectively engage in our program of recovery.

Your life doesn’t have to be controlled by addiction. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavior health and addictions specialists, holistic experts, and spiritual guides to help you develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431