How Is Sleep Experienced During Alcoholism Recovery?

man not sleeping well

Alcohol rehabilitation involves the restoration of a person’s mind, body, and spirit. Detoxification involves the dispelling of toxins from the body, a natural process which can be very painful if the addiction is severe. Thankfully, reputable treatment centers provide excellent healthcare and can assist you in working through detox and establishing a stable life based on your well-being. Amongst the many changes that can take place in recovery, sleep is an important aspect of your health that may alter as you become more accustomed to a life of recovery.

A 2015 study titled “Sleep Throughout the Alcoholism Recovery Process” sought to explore individuals’ perceptions, patterns, and beliefs regarding sleep during the recovery process. Thirty-two individuals from an inpatient treatment program completed both assessments and interviews related to their sleeping experiences. The researchers found that sleep disturbances did occur for many during their rehabilitation.

First, many participants associated sleep with negative effects of alcohol, such as “passing out” after drinking. The study’s findings also indicated that a person’s physical and emotional environment after treatment was incredibly important to their quality of sleep; for example, having a secure and supportive home environment to return to increases the chances of better sleep quality and reduces the chances of relapse. Participants mentioned several factors of self-efficacy regarding sleep, such as the ability to “wind down” in healthy ways or “quiet racing thoughts”. Unhealthy ways to assist sleep involved self-medication, which participants used alcohol before to help them cope with racing thoughts, avoid problems, and more that was withholding them from sleeping. The study also found the following:

  • Individuals who experienced more intense cravings also reported more disturbed sleep
  • Individuals who experienced more intense cravings also reported lower self-efficacy for sleep

Overall, it seems there are a few factors that can mediate your experience with sleep while in recovery and after you’ve completed your treatment program. Having the right environment to thrive in can greatly enhance your sleep. Finding healthy ways to cope with problems is another way to ensure you get good rest at night – engage in breathing exercises, guided imagery, yoga, and more when you’re experiencing anxiety and other distressing symptoms.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.