Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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Can Sleeping Longer Help Your Addiction? 


Can Sleeping Longer Help Your Addiction? 

sleepingAddiction is one of the most challenging things people face in the modern world. Addiction can come in the form of alcohol, drug abuse, gambling and in some cases sex. There is no one proven cause for it. Some of us might seek flight from the harshness of our everyday lives, and others have no idea that their behavior is destructive. But what is addiction exactly?

An addicted person will abuse a substance or engage in destructive behavior in the pursuit of the continuous reward they think they are receiving. In many cases, people suffering from addiction will be unaware of their condition until it is too late. Substance abuse disrupts the natural neurobiological patterns in the brain by activating the neurotransmitter dopamine that is directly related to the reward-motivated behavioral aspect.

So, what can you do if you fall into the above category? For one, there are many different ways to fight it. In this article, however, we will focus on sleep and whether more of it can aid you in your struggle to an addiction-free life.

Firstly, how important is getting the right amount of shuteye?

Very! It’s a fact that we need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. When the body lies in rest, it recalibrates, affecting your health, longevity, alertness, immune system, your mood and more. It is also when the brain works through all of the things you have done and learned throughout the day. In short, like the ‘S’ for Superman, the ‘Z’ for sleep is a superhero.

But can it aid us in our fight against addiction?   

It’s a vicious circle.

Circadian rhythms, also known as the sleep-wake-cycle, regulate your sleep pattern. Continuous substance abuse can severely disrupt this cycle. And even if you no longer use, the effect on your circadian rhythm often gets worse, which is one of the leading causes for people to relapse. As your body heals from years of addiction, the quest for hunting ZZZ’s remains a challenging task.

And as we mentioned before, sleep is a natural cure for many things, and the right amount of it will aid you in your journey to a substance-free lifestyle. The trick is to find the natural ability to sleep again.

Some Advice on how to get better sleep – a step toward an addiction free life

Routine is everything. According to sleepingguide.org, the right mattress will help you in the ZZZ hunt as well. Never obsess over the fact that you can’t fall asleep, just stick to what you planned:

  • Meditate – be mindful of sleep. An hour before bed start shifting to calmer activities and thoughts. Do breathing exercises, have a bath, listen to a calming podcast, anything really that relaxes you.
  • Don’t be a glutton. Watch what you eat in the evenings, but also don’t go to bed hungry. Keep an eye on your caffeine intake (ideally no coffee at least six hours before bed). Stay hydrated, but not too much because you will have to go, disrupting that hard-won sleep.   
  • Daily exercise is a real plus. Now it doesn’t have to be a marathon; a brisk walk in the mornings or using the stairs instead of the lift is enough.
  • Create the perfect sleeping oasis. Make sure the temperature in your room is not too high. Are all electrical devices switched off to avoid lights, beeps and electromagnetic waves? Do you like your bedroom? If not make changes.

The right amount of shuteye wards off depressive tendencies, which is one of the main reasons people succumb to addiction.



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