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How Important is Sleep Hygiene in Recovery?

In early sobriety it can be difficult to get adequate, healthy sleep. We are often dealing with symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which can lead to either too much or too little sleep. Sleep hygiene refers to a variety of different practices and routines that can aid us in getting a better night’s sleep.

The best thing we can do to improve our sleep hygiene is to create a regular sleep routine. According to the Centre for Clinical Interventions, “One of the best ways to train your body to sleep well is to go to bed and get up at more or less the same time every day, even on weekends and days off! This regular rhythm will make you feel better and will give your body something to work from.”  This means we should stick to a routine of going to bed and waking up within about twenty minutes of the same time each day. Routines can train our brains to know when it is time for sleep, allowing us to fall asleep quicker and feel more rested throughout the day.

Exercise and getting outside can also be helpful in practicing proper sleep hygiene. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality.  For the best night’s sleep, most people should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime. However, the effect of intense nighttime exercise on sleep differs from person to person, so find out what works best for you.” Exercise releases endorphins in the body that may cause us to be more alert, making it more difficult to sleep if we exercise to close to bedtime.

We should also work to create an environment that is conducive to sleep. The Centre for Clinical Interventions explains, “It is very important that your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable for sleeping. A cooler room with enough blankets to stay warm is best, and make sure you have curtains or an eye mask to block out early morning light and earplugs if there is noise outside your room.” We should also avoid using our beds for watching television, eating, using our laptops, or other activities. This way, we can strengthen our brain’s association with being in bed with sleep, allowing us to fall asleep easier when we get into bed.

A life of health and happiness is possible in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future on the journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavioral and addictions specialists with spiritual guides and holistic experts to help you develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431