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Five Steps to Help You Sleep Better

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Having trouble with sleep is not uncommon for those who are in recovery. Sleep issues may have been present prior to addiction or may have been a contributing factor to the development of addiction. Regardless of how or why the sleep issues developed, the presence of it has a terrible impact on an individual. Sleep issues can be a relapse trigger for some as lack of sleep can produce symptoms such as irritability, poor concentration, and focus, and exacerbate mood issues such as anxiety and depression. Getting back on a healthy sleep cycle can take 6 months to a year and sometimes longer depending on the individual. The important thing is to remain consistent with behavioral changes that help decrease sleep difficulties.

Five changes that help with sleep issues are:

  1. Refrain from all caffeinated beverages.
  2. Do not smoke right before you attempt to go to bed. Nicotine is a stimulant.
  3. Refrain from doing daytime activities while in bed. For example, having intense discussions with a significant other, reading an enjoyable book, going on the computer or watching television.
  4. Have a regular sleep schedule. Get up and go to sleep at the same time every day if you can.
  5. Exercise regularly. This helps decrease extra stress which may be keeping you up at night.

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