Toss. Turn. Repeat. Toss. Turn. Repeat. Wake up. Fall asleep. Wake up. Fall asleep. Stay awake. Toss. Turn. Repeat.
Sleep in the early stages of recovery can be treacherous. Physical discomfort and psychological discomfort can lead to many nights of insomnia and restlessness which come with many consequences. Long term sleep deprivation is problematic due to the extreme stress caused to the body as well as the mind. Overtime, stress from a lack of sleep leads to inflammation which is the source of all disease and disorder. As well, inflammation can affect mood and emotion. Men who are in the early stages of the treatment process are adjusting to living with their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. When these experiences are heightened due to a lack of sleep, men can become more erratic, irrational, and impulsive. As well, they lose the sharpness of mind they are working so hard to gain. Insomnia can cause memory changes in the ability to concentrate, pay attention, and focus. For men who are in treatment learning how to live free from addiction, this can become extremely frustrating and disheartening. Men can feel like they aren’t “getting it” and begin to believe they can’t or won’t “get it”. Without proper, restful sleep, men become vulnerable to relapse.
Signs You Aren’t Sleeping
You are typically aware when you aren’t getting enough sleep, particularly when you are staying awake for hours of the night. Total exhaustion may keep you in a deeply fatigued state which feels like rest throughout the night, but is not restful. In between the tossing, turning, running thoughts, and physical discomfort, you might feel like you are sleeping. Men need deep REM sleep to be fully rested and as close to 6-9 hours of sleep per night as possible. In addition to irritability, men experience a host of symptoms:
- Irrational thinking
- Impulsive behaviors
- Cravings for drugs and alcohol
- Increasingly uncomfortable thoughts
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
- Weakened immune system
- Difficulty with concentration, focus, and memory
Why Insomnia Has Such An Effect
Sleep is a necessary part of daily life and survival. During sleep, the body has time to rest, slowing down the nervous system. In the brain, there is much activity as the brain passes information along to be processed, stored for memory, and discarded. The brain becomes overloaded and tired when it cannot sleep. Information cannot be sorted or stored, the body cannot rest, and the entire system becomes exhausted.
Treatment is a time for rest and recovery. Treatment is also a time for work to learn how to create the sustainable changes necessary for a sustainable recovery. Call Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California for information on our men’s addiction treatment programs. Everyday, we’re helping men find freedom from addiction. (855) 202-2138.