Sleep is everything. Scientifically, we may not know why our bodies need rest, but we do need it, and we depend on it. Getting enough sleep is one of the core ways to practice good physical, mental, and emotional health. It is one of the most important physical processes, and it happens every single day.
It is something that no matter what, will happen at some point, and our bodies shut down once they reach a certain point of sleep deprivation. Sleep is essential to our lives. It is deeply, strongly connected to our mental health. Without sleep, our mental health will suffer, which is why it is so unfortunate that many of our mental illnesses and struggles can cause us to lose sleep.
When we could be sleeping and helping our brains recover, we are forced to stay awake and feel ourselves getting worse. Rest is an essential component of recovery as well. When we are trying to change behaviors, we need restful nights so our minds can internalize lessons we are learning. Sleep troubles are common worldwide, with many people experiencing some kind of difficulty with the act of sleeping. Sleep trouble has been linked to many disorders and difficulties, worsening pre-existing mental health conditions.
The Peculiar Torture of Insomnia
Insomnia is the most common one of these disorders. About 1 in 3 Americans have reported difficulty sleeping at least one night a week. This can include trouble falling asleep, waking up a lot, not being able to stay asleep, or waking up too early in the morning.
All of these can cause a person to not get enough hours of sleep every night. It is not an isolated issue for many people, but rather a symptom of another condition or issue that they are dealing with. It can be a short-term problem that only lasts for a specific duration.
Going on a trip or vacation can cause insomnia to pop up for the small amount of time, especially if you’re traveling across time zones. For the shorter, more minor cases of insomnia, there can be some easy methods to remedy the situation. People in this situation often find a natural supplement like melatonin to be sufficient, for example.
Sleeplessness & Other Disorders
The causes of insomnia can vary, but about 50% of cases are related to depression, anxiety, or psychological stress. You can often use a person’s insomnia to understand a person’s mental illness. For instance, early-morning wakefulness can be a sign of depression, along with low energy, inability to focus, sadness, and a change in appetite or weight. Alternatively, a person who is sleeping more, with increased energy, or lacking a need for sleep can all be signs of mania. Anxiety is also directly linked to issues with sleeping, as is obsessive-compulsive disorder.
It can be tough to deal with insomnia because there is only so much you can do to beat it. It will likely be a long process with many sleepless nights or just nights of little sleep. Maintaining good sleep habits can be a huge step for getting yourself on track. Sticking to a schedule, avoiding stimulating activities before sleep, and ensuring your environment is safe and comfortable are good practices to get into.
Practicing things like deep breathing, meditation, and other calming techniques help get your mind at ease. Exercising during the day can help set you up for good sleep at night as well. Remember, the more activities you engage in and the harder you push yourself (in healthy ways!) throughout the day, the easier it will be to fall asleep at night.
Finally, consider only getting in bed when you are trying to go to sleep. Avoid hanging out in your bed throughout the day or spending time there for any other reason. This helps your body to know when it is time to sleep, training it to feel comfortable when you lie down.
Sleep is a vital part of survival and an essential part of recovery. It can help keep you going during the stressful times, and help keep your feelings of anxiety and depression at a minimum. While it can’t cure everything, it is still a useful tool to remember when you are feeling low.
If you are experiencing problems with it, you can use plenty of techniques to improve your sleep. While we know how hard it can be, remember you are not alone in struggling with it and are strong enough to make the changes that you need.
Recovering from substance abuse is rarely as simple as getting a good night’s sleep, but practicing good sleep hygiene is a great tool in any recovering person’s tool belt. If you’re looking for a new way to live your life without drugs or alcohol, we’ve got the solutions you need. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find a sober living community ready to provide you with the tools necessary for long-term sobriety. If you’re ready to get sober, it’s time to lean on the experience and strength of others who have come before you. Sobriety is not as uncharted as it may seem. Through a holistic recovery program, you can heal spiritually, mentally, and physically – you just need the time to do so. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find the community you’re looking for and the experienced guidance you need. Give us a call at (602) 466-9880. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it can be an exciting period of your life, filled with transformational experiences and incredible growth.