Sleep and Addiction: Is Sleeping Too Much Okay?

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Anyone who has ever gone through an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or anyone who has ever watched a loved one struggle with one, knows firsthand just how difficult that journey to sobriety can be. An addiction, or substance use disorder, can wreak havoc on all areas of a person’s life. It can cause financial hardship, deterioration in health, loss of one’s job, homelessness, death, etc. Addiction can also have a devastating effect on a person’s sleep. Some people end up sleeping too much, which can result in other problems for your ultimate recovery from your addiction.

Addiction is often defined as “a brain disease brought on by chronic drug use that interferes with and makes changes to brain circuitry and chemistry, and these changes lead to compulsive drug using behaviors.” These changes in the brain are also what lead to both long-term and short-term sleep difficulties. The connection between drug use and sleep often goes both ways; substance abuse can hinder a person’s ability to sleep, and subsequently, difficulty with one’s sleep can also lead to an addiction or substance abuse problem as people turn to them in order to help them fall asleep.

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Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms from an addiction can cause problems with your sleep schedule, which can result in over-sleeping.

Unfortunately, once someone achieves sobriety, this problem doesn’t just go away. During the first week of sobriety, most people experience some level of withdrawal symptoms, some more severe than others. While the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced can differ depending on things like that type of drugs that were used, the amount of drugs that were used, and how long the person has been using those drugs or alcohol, problems with sleep remain the most common withdrawal symptom regardless of what substances were being used.

Tips for Getting Good Sleep in Sobriety

If you are like millions of other Americans who are new to recovery, then here are a few tips to help you get restful sleep while still maintaining your sobriety.

  • Stick to a Schedule- If you used drugs or alcohol shortly before bed, then it can be even more difficult to fall asleep once you get sober as your brain is no longer sure when it is time to go to bed. Creating a new, and healthy, sleep schedule is essential to getting good sleep while sober. Going to bed at the same time every night will help let your brain know when it is time to go to sleep.
  • Have a Nightly Routine- While this may be difficult for those who work odd hours or those who don’t have a set schedule, doing the same thing each and every night before you go to bed will help ensure you fall asleep faster. Try doing a light exercise 30 minutes before you go to sleep, or read your favorite book for an hour. This will also help train your brain when it is time to go to sleep.
  • Eliminate Screen Time- Research has shown that electronic devices, such as computers, phones, or TVs, can have a negative impact on the quality of one’s sleep. Cutting back on the amount of screen time you have, at least one hour before bed, can greatly reduce the chance of disrupting the quality of sleep.
  • Create a Space for Sleeping- Limit the amount of extracurricular activities you do while in bed, such as checking your phone, watching TV, or stressful conversations with your partner. This will help train your brain that the bed is where you sleep, not for everything else.

These are just a few tips you can implement to help increase the quality of your sleep, especially early on in recovery.

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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to help you maintain sobriety, early in your recovery from an addiction.

Effects of Oversleeping

While sleep is essential early on recovery, there is still a chance that you could be sleeping too much. There is a difference between getting the right amount of sleep needed to recover and simply just getting too much sleep to begin with. It may sound absurd at first because whoever thought you could get too much sleep, but it is possible. The amount of sleep needed can vary depending on the individual, but most experts agree that anything above 10 hours for an adult is considered to be too much.

Oversleeping can be a sign of many underlying issues, such as depression and heart disease. The effects of oversleeping are much like the effects of not getting enough sleep to begin with. Getting enough sleep especially while undergoing withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is essential as the brain and body need this time to repair itself. However, a person can sleep too much. Here are a few side effects associated with getting too much sleep;

  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Higher risk of diabetes
  • Higher risk of heart disease
  • Depression
  • Increased pain
  • Impaired fertility
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Higher risk of overall mortality (death)
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Sleeping too much can become a problem in addiction recovery.

The importance of a healthy sleeping schedule in addiction recovery

Just like with anything in life, having a proper sleep schedule requires a good amount of balance. While it is important to get enough sleep to ensure a successful sobriety, it is also important to remember that there is such a thing as too much. We know that this can be a struggle for many Americans, as nearly 70 million people in the United States all suffer from a sleep disorder of some kind. There has long been a connection between sleep problems and substance abuse disorders, that is because many drugs and alcohol disrupt that natural circuit in the brain. Not only that, but there is also a link between poor sleep and the rate of relapse. For those in recovery, and anyone else who might be curious, we hope that this information was useful to you!

If you, or a loved one, are new to recovery and are having a difficult time with getting the right amount of sleep, then please reach out to an addiction specialist today. There is no shame in asking for help, especially when you need it! We know what a huge struggle trying to get enough sleep can be, especially early in the road to recovery, that is why we are here and we are always ready to help! We wish you the best!

 

(877) 228-4679

 

Why Do I Keep Relapsing? 5 Ways To Become Stronger

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If you find yourself asking this question, either for yourself, a family member, loved one, neighbor or coworker just understand that a relapse is a very normal part of recovery. If you have been through a successful addiction treatment program, experienced a period of sobriety and fell into a relapse, please know you are not alone. Relapses are not uncommon and it does not mean you are a failure. Hope is always an option and there are many resources that can help you. How you react to your situation after experiencing a relapse is critical in your overall road to recovery. In this crucial time, forgiveness is an important factor to express to yourself or your loved one. Learn to forgive yourself or your family member for the recent relapse into substance use.  This is a better, more productive attitude to have that in the long run will help you or your loved one keep striving to maintain their sobriety.

 

Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors, and relapse doesn’t mean treatment has failed.”–National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

 

It is estimated that 40-60 percent of people who maintain sobriety through rehab, treatment and recovery will relapse into heavy use, while 70-90 percent will relapse and use again at least once. In the medical field, a relapse used to be treated as an uncommon thing but that has largely changed due to the advances in behavioral science and addiction therapy. Sadly, many addicts are stigmatized by society as hopeless drug fiends or treated with the perception that they are a bad person for their substance use. Many of us here in the addiction treatment industry are advocating a different perspective. With addiction being a curable disease, you could compare it to the relapse rates of people with other medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma. The rate of relapse into these common medical diseases is close to the same as for people with a substance abuse disorder. Treating this as a medical condition will help ease the stigma associated with drug and alcohol abuse.

 

As we have seen the overdose epidemic explode in the United States, it is important for us to begin treating this as a serious medical condition, not a criminal activity reserved only for the ‘bad people’ in society. As you are reading this now, most of us know someone dearly who has struggled with some form of substance abuse. While we look to help those closest to us, deep down inside we know there is still a good person underneath the surface of their drug or alcohol addiction.

 


It is estimated that nearly 72,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose in 2017. That’s close to 200 people each and every day. – Centers for Disease Control (CDC)


 

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Finding the right coping mechanisms and staying the course in recovery is the key to overcoming an addiction.

Warning: Your Drug Tolerance Levels Will Change

It is extremely important to note here that many who relapse will overdose their first time because they think they can do as much of the drug as they had been doing before they went through detox and a period of sobriety. Simply put, your body cannot handle as large an amount of the drug, even though they had built up a tolerance over their period of substance abuse. Your tolerance has changed through recovery and you might not be able to handle the “usual dose” as you have in the past and immediately die. We cannot stress this enough, so please keep this in mind throughout your post-recovery stage as most people do not plan to have a relapse.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual in recovery to actively want to change things in their life to help them maintain their newfound sobriety. This is a difficult path to navigate and there are many things you can do to help you avoid the temptation to relapse into substance use.

 

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Tips on how to overcome a relapse and not give up on your addiction recovery

Specific Risks to Avoid During Your Process of Recovery:

 

  1. Avoid drug-related ‘triggers’: Many in recovery can be tempted to relapse if they are around old hangouts where they used to purchase or consume drugs or alcohol. Even the sight of drug paraphernalia or a drink can be too much to handle for some. Also known as drug-related cues, these thoughts can come from a variety of places, depending on your individual situation. Most treatment programs will help you identify your potential triggers and help you formulate a plan to avoid them.
  2. Be extra cautious during the first 90 days: Most relapses occur during this crucial period of recovery. Your addiction doesn’t simply stop once your detox is completed. For many, addiction can shape your thoughts and behaviors for the rest of your life. The good news is the longer you stay sober, the easier it will be for you to avoid a return to your past substance abuse.
  3. Find help in a structured environment: Rates of relapse are much lower for people who participate in some sort of organized support group after their drug or alcohol detox. Relapse prevention or twelve-step programs like Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are great at helping people maintain their sobriety and offer personal help when you feel the urge to use again.
  4. Start creating healthy lifestyle habits: Studies have shown that even a mild amount of exercise can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms for recovering addicts. Eating healthy foods and thinking healthy thoughts are important to developing and rebuilding the self-confidence necessary to maintain your sobriety. Controlling your emotions and developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with difficult situations can greatly increase your success in recovery and sober living.
  5. If you do relapse, don’t be afraid to ask for help (again): When a relapse occurs, know that there are a multitude of resources willing and able to help you break the cycle of your addiction. Sometimes treatment needs to be tried several times before the patient is fully recovered. Remember, relapse is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed about. Your family and loved ones will be happy you were honest and asked for help. Repeated attempts will work eventually and it will help you develop the desire for a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Becoming More Mindful: Living Life With Intention Through Meditation

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Did your addiction begin as a way of escaping from life, the responsibilities of adulthood and the emotions you didn’t want to face? If so, you’re not alone. Life can be stressful and challenging at times, but using drugs and alcohol can only make things worse.

That’s why many addiction recovery specialists work with clients to help them practice mindfulness through meditation. It can help you learn how to embrace your thoughts, feelings and emotions and process them in a healthy way.

Using a series of relaxation techniques, students learn how to become more comfortable with their experiences – and themselves during sobriety.

Want to learn simple meditation strategies for beginners? Here are three tips to get started!

(1) Start small. Just like anything else, you can get better with practice. But, ease yourself into it. Set a goal to practice five minutes a day for the first few sessions. That way, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and give up too quickly. Consider setting a timer on your watch or your phone to keep track of your progress.

(2) Get comfortable. Pick a spot in your home where you can sit comfortably on the floor – away from furniture and other belongings. If you have hardwood floors or tile, consider placing a yoga mat or towel on the floor to provide a little bit of cushion. Sit down in a pose where you feel relaxed. Be sure to sit up straight with your spine upright and close your eyes.

(3) Clear your mind and focus on your breath. One goal of meditation is to reduce the clutter in your mind and simply enjoy a quiet stillness. To help relax your mind, focus on the nature of your breath. The sound of breathing in and out. There is no need to control the speed or the depth. Simply try to concentrate on the repetition of your inhale and exhale.

Meditation is a great tool for recovery. It’s free, portable and provides a wealth of health benefits – supporting a strong mind and a healthy body.

Daily Readings, Reflection and Meditation

Morning meditation at 10 Acre Ranch begins with group members reading day-by-day books. After each client reads an entry, the group shares about how the reading applies to today’s treatment challenges. The overriding goal of group and individual meditation is to cultivate peace and achieve a state of calm that can be revisited during the darkest hours of addiction recovery. To learn more, call: (877) 228-4679.

Emotional Neglect: A Common Addiction Trigger

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There are many different approaches to addiction treatment. But, studies have shown that the most successful ones do more than simply alter superficial behaviors and temporarily mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal. Treatment methodologies that aim to understand and address the underlying causes and triggers of addiction are almost always the most profoundly impactful.

Given that, many addiction specialists work with clients to explore their personal relationships since many people who have experienced chronic emotional neglect turn to drugs and alcohol later in life.

But what is emotional neglect? Simply put, this occurs when someone is unable to provide the affection and emotional support that is needed.

In adults, some of the symptoms of emotional neglect include:

  • Feeling numb to your feelings
  • Being easily discouraged
  • Continually experiencing low self-esteem
  • Holding yourself up to unrealistic standards
  • Experiencing extreme self-doubt

If you are on a journey towards sobriety and identify with one or more of these symptoms of emotional neglect, it may be helpful to speak with your addiction recovery team to see if there is a connection. Because, there are ways you can empower yourself, move forward and protect your sobriety.

After consulting your addiction recovery team, here are a few strategies you might consider:

(1) Embrace what you are feeling. If you’ve spent your life trying to escape from your emotions using drugs or alcohol to numb those feelings, it may seem foreign at first. But, a healthy first step is to simply embrace the full range of human emotions. If you don’t feel comfortable expressing those thoughts with others, try journaling and simply spend a few moments each day to reflect on your experiences.

(2) Reflect on what you want. If you’ve experienced emotional neglect, you may have fallen into destructive relationships and put the needs of others before your own. Think about what you want and what you deserve in close relationships with friends and family members. That can help shape the connections that you make moving forward.

(3) Be compassionate with yourself. You can’t change the past and simply ruminating on what happened won’t change anything. Focus on creating a more positive future for yourself moving forward.

Individual Therapy at 10 Acre Ranch

In some cases, private therapy sessions may also be needed to delve into relapse motivation, addiction history, and coexisting diagnoses. To learn more about our Southern California men’s rehab facility or request individual therapy information, submit a confidential inquiry today. Call 877-228-4679 to learn more.

Conflict Management in the Workplace: 4 Strategies

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Finding a career that’s rewarding (professionally and financially) is an important milestone that signals the successful transition into adulthood. You’re finally able to support yourself, become more independent and begin a new chapter of your life.

You might be surprised to learn that one of the most important factors influencing your success in the workplace is how you relate with your coworkers. In virtually every line of work, employees need to be able to collaborate and work together to get the job done. And, when disagreements and conflicts do arise, it’s critical to work through those situations in a productive way. This can help you avoid turning to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with unresolved stress and resentment.

4 Strategies for Dealing with Conflict at Work

(1) Understand when to alert management.

While you can handle many conflicts directly, it is important to note that serious workplace issues (like harassment based on age, gender, race) should be addressed by human resources. When in doubt, ask your manager.

(2) Be honest and open with the person.

If a coworker does something that irritates or offends you (like interrupting you repeatedly during meetings), complaining to other coworkers won’t solve the problem at hand. Have the courage to speak with the person directly and privately – and calmly talk about what happened. Chances are, they may not even be aware of their behavior and how it is affecting you.

(3) Listen carefully.

After you’ve had a chance to share your thoughts, give them the same professional courtesy and be open to their response. Try to really understand their point of view.

(4) Stay positive.

Keep an open mind. Don’t go into the discussion thinking that the other person intentionally tried to put you down or make you frustrated. You’re not a mind-reader so don’t jump to conclusions.

Learning conflict management skills for the workplace is a valuable skill to develop. By addressing issues early, and in a healthy manner, you can help protect your sobriety and create a more open and honest dialogue with your coworkers.

Interpersonal Skills Development at 10 Acre Ranch

Because substance abusers tend to spend time with enablers, dealers, and other negative influences over the course of their addiction, they often distance those they love. Many people withdraw into isolation to avoid the consequences of their behavior while others develop unhealthy codependent friendships. Our Southern California rehab for men is built around a social treatment model that helps residents develop healthy interaction patterns. Interpersonal skills are crucial to long-term addiction recovery and are taught as part of our group therapy curriculum. Call (877) 228-4679 to learn more.

3 Ways to Celebrate the New Year – Sober!

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Getting sober (and staying sober) takes a lot of grit, determination and courage. Finding a lifetime of sobriety also requires a fair bit of planning to avoid falling back into the destructive patterns of behavior that you worked hard to leave behind.

To reduce your risk of relapse, it’s especially important to plan ahead during the holiday season. With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, take a few minutes today to make some sober plans for the big night.

If this is your first time to ring in the new year without drugs and alcohol, here are a few ways to celebrate and have fun without getting a hangover the next day!

(1) Plan your own camping or fishing trip with some buddies.

Staying sober around people who are using and abusing drugs and alcohol is difficult for most – especially those on a new journey towards sobriety. One way to protect your sobriety is to simply remove yourself from a dangerous situation. If you do want to avoid the bar scene, create your own sober environment instead. If you’re into the great outdoors, invite a few friends for a quick weekend trip.

(2) Focus on your health.

Drinking to excess wreaks havoc on your body – altering your brain chemistry while making you exhausted and irritable the next day. Why not do the opposite and use this day to improve your mental and physical health. Meditate, cook healthy meals, go for a long run and get to bed early. When you wake up the next day energized (instead of reaching for the Advil) you’ll be glad you did.

(3) Attend a support group meeting.

If you’re anxious about celebrating New Year’s Eve sober for the first time, know that you are not alone. Talk to your addiction recovery team for recommendations about the best group therapy options in your area. You’ll likely feel more confident after talking to others in recovery and enjoy having peer-to-peer support.

Relapse Prevention at 10 Acre Ranch

As part of a comprehensive approach to outpatient addiction recovery, clients at 10 Acre Ranch Recovery learn important life skills including relapse prevention strategies including anger management, handling social pressures, handling high-risk situations and long-term sobriety planning. Whether you are seeking help for you or a loved one, our all-inclusive residential facility is affordable and offers one of the industry’s highest recovery success rates. Contact an admissions advisor by phone at (877) 228.4679.

Recovery on the Road: Staying Sober During the Holidays

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It’s official. The holiday season is officially upon us. In addition to gift-giving, tree trimming and the occasionally awkward office party at work, this time of year is also associated with traveling to visit friends and family. And, for most, that can bring with it the stress and anxiety of navigating endless lines at airport security, long car rides and the like.

But, for those on a journey to addiction recovery, holiday travel can present even more obstacles. It can be challenging to maintain your sobriety without your support system around and having your normal routine thrown off. Though, with the right strategies in place, you can still enjoy the holidays and stay sober.

Traveling During the Holidays? Here Are a Few Tips.

(1) Create a travel plan. Even if you’re not on a path to addiction recovery, traveling can be stressful. Before you even leave your house, think about your upcoming trip, the potential relapse triggers you might encounter and how you can prepare yourself to respond.

(2) Take everything with a grain of salt. Keep things in perspective and don’t let yourself get upset about things you can’t control. When you’re faced with a challenging situation, try to find a way to smile and know that it’s just a temporary inconvenience.

(3) Plan ahead and schedule some sober activities. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of getting bored and turning to drugs and alcohol as a crutch. Before you leave home, do a little bit of research online to find some interesting and healthy ways to spend your time. Check out local museums, parks and hiking trails.

(4) Use your trip to fulfill a personal goal. Spending time away from home can be stressful but it can also give you an opportunity to tackle a new project, learn a new hobby or ramp up your exercise routine. By focusing on a specific goal, you can use that determination and momentum to maintain a sober lifestyle.

If you’re on a journey to addiction recovery, you can still enjoy spending time with friends and family. With a little planning in advance, you can learn how to navigate holiday travel while staying sober.

Life Skills Training During Recovery in Southern California

At 10 Acre Ranch, we encourage clients to focus on recovery assignments that help them better understand themselves and learn important life skills including stress management, the importance of self-care, communication skills and relapse prevention strategies. To learn about our comprehensive addiction services, inquire about fees and insurance coverage, or discuss a loved one’s addiction cycle, contact the 10 Acre team today: (877) 228-4679 today.