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Monday, October 16, 2017

Substance Abuse and Sleep Disorders

If you can’t seem to fall asleep and/or find yourself wide-awake in the middle of night, you’re not alone. Sleep troubles are a common complaint among those with substance use disorders. In fact, those in early recovery have a five times greater risk of insomnia than the general population. And many people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) have insomnia before entering treatment. 

On average, people who struggle with substance abuse also struggle with getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye per night. Instead, studies show total nightly sleep averages as 5.5 hours. Some people in recovery can continue to have sleep problems for weeks, months, or sometimes years after initiating abstinence, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration  (SAMHSA). 

Sleep loss can have a major impact on the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people in recovery — and it can even interfere with treatment. The most common sleep problems linked with alcohol and drug abuse, include: 
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Narcolepsy
How to Get Sleep-Smart 
A little sleep hygiene can go a long way in helping your sleep habits. Here are a few smart slumber tips from SAMHSA: 
  • Go to bed and get up at the same times each day.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • If you take naps, keep them short and before 5 pm.
  • Don’t eat or drink too much when it's close to bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, cola) and nicotine for several hours before bedtime.
  • Wind down before going to bed. Some examples: take a warm bath, do light reading, practice relaxation exercises.
  • Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing.
Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Program For Sleep Disorders And Substance AbuseIf you suffer from both symptoms of sleep disorders and substance abuse, you may need specialized treatment and a personalized plan for recovery. At Hope Academy, we offer evidence-based dual diagnosis treatment for young adults facing both substance abuse and co-occurring issues like sleep disorders. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

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