You might feel like this is a no-brainer, that being good to yourself by getting a good night’s sleep in alcohol rehab is a critical piece of recovery. But, as you may have already figured out, your time in alcohol rehabilitation is special, so it is imperative that you sleep well.
Here Are 5 Reasons to Make Sleep a Priority During Alcohol Rehab:
Poor sleep is dangerous
One night without sleep is a bad experience for you and others; several nights can cause a deficit in your sleep bank, your body’s reserve. Lack of sleep can lead you to experience microsleeps or seconds-long periods of rest during the day. These can be deadly if you are driving, damage your relationships and crazy-making as you navigate your work and relationships.
During a microsleep, you do not respond to stimuli—your brain is quite literally asleep. For those who participate in our IOP or day treatment programs here at The Right Step, transporting themselves to treatment in this state could be incredibly dangerous, as “…drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities [annually] and 40,000 nonfatal injuries in the United States.”
Sleep is restorative
There are several sleep phases, but the two considered restorative are delta wave sleep and REM sleep, the sleep during which you dream.
- Delta wave sleep allows for complete muscle relaxation, a drop in blood pressure (so your heart and venal system get a break), memory consolidation, and allows your body to rebuild itself.
- REM sleep causes temporary paralysis, separating your body and brain from its awake state- as your brain is similar to its awake self in terms of activation. REM sleep also allows for memory consolidation, processing emotions and combing through your day to store important emotional memories.
Without these critical functions of sleep, you are less likely to benefit from the emotional and psychological healing offered at alcohol rehab and make the process of physical healing much slower.
Sleep is good for your mental and physical health
Sleeping nightly for at least six hours can be a buffer against a high body mass index, type-II diabetes, and a poorly functioning immune system. Inadequate sleep can cause cardiovascular disease, leading to increased risk for various types of stroke and heart attack types.
Sleeping well can increase your level of exercise, clear out unhealthy neurological proteins, and lower your mortality rate (based on 7-8 hours/night). Poor sleeping correlates with anxiety disorders, mood disorders and stress. Getting proper sleep aids a well-functioning memory and facilitates learning.
Irritability decreases with good sleep
Sleeping less than six hours eight nights in a row caused a significant amount of anger and irritability in self-report journals for 2,000 participants in a study at the University of South Florida (2021). However, the feelings returned to normal after one night of sleep of over six hours.
Getting good sleep consistently promotes a stable mood and psychological health, making you less bothered by small things and less reactive to large things. It is important in alcohol rehabilitation when talking about your time in active addiction can be extremely triggering, and you may still be feeling the effects of the alcohol detox.
Sleep helps curb impulses
Understandably, during your time in alcohol rehab, you will likely experience many urges to return to drinking and abandon your recovery attempts. However, with a good night’s sleep under your belt, you are more likely to be able to resist these impulses and instead make decisions with your long-term sobriety in mind.
The more you are able to get a good night’s sleep in alcohol rehab, the more in tune with your recovery process you will be, and you will be better off, mind and body, to do the hard work of recovery. If you’re looking for an alcohol rehab near you in The Hill Country, Dallas-Fort Worth, or Houston, Texas, contact The Right Step today at 844-768-0458 to get started.