In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed the effects of insomnia and sleeplessness in the early stages of recovery. Through detox in the first few weeks or months to recurring PAWS, post acute withdrawal syndrome, throughout the first two years, insomnia can be a regular experience for men in recovery. Coping with a lack of sleep is increasingly more difficult the longer a man goes without the restful sleep he needs.
Sleep is vital to a sustainable recovery. At Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, men are learning how to create the sustainable changes necessary to develop a sustainable recovery. Sleep hygiene, that is the many behaviors associated with sleep, are part of those changes. Along with the many other skills men are developing for their survival in recovery, how to get a good night’s rest is one of them.
Exercise has been repeatedly proven to improve sleep. Without output, all of the energy accumulated throughout the day has nowhere to go. Daily exercise for a minimum of twenty to thirty minutes helps men expel their energy, use their muscles, and focus their minds. As a result, they are more tired and sleep more deeply. Likewise, they have more energy the next day.
One of the more common contributing factors to a poor night’s sleep is running thoughts which cause stress on the mind as well as the body. Meditation directly activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the sympathetic nervous system calm down. Through mindfulness practices and deep breathing, meditation helps the body relax, let go of tense thoughts, and tense muscles.
Yoga is another practice which is proven to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to promote sleep. Combining mindfulness, meditation, and physical movement, yoga practices can be targeted toward sleep by moving energy, working with chakras, and calming the system.
Diet and nutrition
Food plays a major role in the ability to sleep. For example, fatty, heavy foods eaten late at night will require more energy to digest, keeping the brain and body awake. Foods which promote healthy digestion and do not contain high amounts of sugar or caffeine help prepare the body for sleep.
Our natural circadian rhythm is programmed by the rising and setting of the sun. Spending too much time inside and exposed to artificial light can mess with this sensitive system. Camping and spending time outdoors in natural light is proven to reset the circadian cycle, leading to a better night’s sleep.
Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California offers men’s treatment programs for addiction. Our combination of evidence-based practices, proven therapeutic applications, and a focus on fitness, as well as outdoor experiences, men find freedom from addiction by learning how to create sustainable change. Call us today for information: (855) 202-2138