How do you fall asleep after quitting drugs and starting a program of recovery from addiction?
If you have recently stopped taking drugs or alcohol, you are aware of the fact that it can be difficult to get to sleep and to stay asleep. You may be experiencing drug withdrawal symptoms that keep you awake. Or, it could be the natural detox process of your body and brain healing and returning to a natural state of balance.
In addition to physiological reasons for insomnia, you may also be experiencing post traumatic stress from the things that happened to you during active addiction. When feelings of anger, sorrow, guilt, and regret come up in the quiet of the night, getting to sleep will not be easy. You may even have vivid nightmares that awaken you throughout the night.
Here are four ways you can get sleep during early recovery.
I am going to review here four ways that you can get better sleep. Please let me know if you have additional methods of achieving lasting sleep throughout the night. Contact me through this website if you would like to provide more information.
1) medication can be helpful for temporary use to help you get a restful night’s sleep.
I wanted to get this one out of the way first. You may believe that medication is the best solution to insomnia. It is quick and easy.
You simply take a pill or capsule, and you feel sleepy in a short amount of time. However, medication should be reserved as a method of last resort for sleep.
The problem is that when you become dependent on medication, it is hard to break the dependency. If you are starting a new life in recovery, drug-free, you probably do not want to develop a dependency on another drug that you can probably get by without.
Still, medication does have its place in treating insomnia that does not respond to any other method. When medication is prescribed for sleep, it should be used for the short term. Typically, no more than one to two weeks is recommended. Examples of sleep meds are Ambien and Sonata. There are other sleeping pills and even more medications that are used for sleep off-label by doctors.
2) You can take supplements to help sleep.
Taking a supplement from the health food store or nutrition shop can be useful to promote sleep. Melatonin is a popular supplement that helps people to naturally become tired and fall asleep. A related substance, tryptophan, also helps to make people sleepy. To get tryptophan, you can simply warm up a cup of milk. When milk is warmed, it releases tryptophan.
You may find a variety of natural herbal supplements that are promoted as helping with sleep. There are also homeopathic remedies. Some of these alternative products may provide more of a placebo effect, making you believe that they are working, when in fact, they have little actual effect on the body and brain.
While you may not like the idea of a placebo being used to trick your mind into believing something is working to make you sleepy, it is not as bad as it sounds. Placebos do have their place in treating some health issues. Helping you get to sleep would be a good use of a harmless placebo.
3) Sleep hygiene can make a big difference in promoting sleep.
To get started with sleep hygiene, it is helpful to have a sleep hygiene checklist handy. There can be a long list of items to check off to be certain you have set up your ideal sleep environment.
Some of the more obvious items include leaving your phone out of the bedroom. Another is to use your bed only for sleep and not for reading, watching television, or using the computer. Relaxing white noise sounds, such as ocean sounds, or other nature sound tracks can be helpful as well.
You can take notes and come up with many ideas to promote better sleep hygiene. A sleep hygiene worksheet is a good place to record notes on what is working and what is not working.
4) Binaural beats and isochronic beats recordings can help you sleep.
Binaural beats programs are one of my favorite ways to get to sleep. Many of my patients have also reported excellent results with binaural therapy.
How do binaural beats work? Brainwave research has revealed that by playing two close, but slightly differing pitches in each ear causes the brain to perceive a beat frequency. That frequency is a binaural beat, which can entrain the brain waves to a particular frequency.
Where can you get binaural beats recordings?
There are binaural beats apps that provide custom binaural programs. You can even find free binaural beats recordings at such locations as YouTube and SoundCloud.
The best binaural beats for sleep are in the theta and delta range.These lower frequency beats promote relaxation, stress relief, meditation, and sleep. Delta frequencies are the best binaural beats for deep sleep.
A recording with just the binaural beat tones can be monotonous, so many recordings include binaural sleep music. This is a combination of binaural beats and relaxing, soothing music. Some recordings even feature interesting world instruments and exotic sounds blended in with the music.
Do you want to know how to listen to binaural beats at bedtime? Do you need headphones for binaural beats? The proper way to listen is
with headphones or earbuds. While you may still get a good effect from playing the recording over the air from a speaker, it will not be as effective as playing with headphones.
How do binaural beats work?
How binaural beats work is that your brain generating the beat frequency on its own is the best brainwave entrainment strategy. This is because it utilizes cross hemisphere communication in the brain.
If you check a listing of recordings, you will find that there are binaural beats for anxiety, binaural beats weight loss, and even binaural beats that claim to assist with astral projection. The best binaural beats for studying will be in a higher frequency range compared to the ideal frequencies to help you sleep. If you are also looking for other uses, there are binaural beats for focus and concentration as well as binaural beats for studying and concentration.
The creators of binaural beats sleep music generate these special tones with computer software and by studying a binaural beats frequency guide to help select the ideal frequency to help the listener achieve a particular state.
What are isochronic beats?
Another type of sound therapy to help you sleep is isochronic tones. These isochronic beats are similar to binaurals, but they do not require headphones. The pulse is in the sound itself and does not require the brain to generate the pulse by hearing two tones, one in each ear.
Isochronic beats can be played over a speaker and they are still effective. Isochronic beats are ideal when it is not practical to wear headphones, or for people who have a hearing deficit in one ear.
Sound can help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
Of the four ways I described to get to sleep here, I spent the most time on binaural and isochronic sound programs. This is because I strongly believe in the use of these effective tools which are very safe and do not involve the use of medications.
While these sound programs are not always the most effective way to get to sleep in the early days of recovery, they do work and they may work well for you. I recommend starting with a safe and effective method of inducing relaxation and sleep with binaural beats or isochronic beats.