Drug detoxification treatment can be a very uncomfortable experience, even with the help of drugs to help you through the process. You may have already felt some unpleasant side effects from stopping or reducing your drug or alcohol use—nausea, vomiting, sweating, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping are common. Not only that, but it’s very common to have insomnia in the early stages of drug detox due to the changes in neurotransmitters and neurotransmitter balance in your brain. However, you can take steps to alleviate these insomnia symptoms during drug detox. Here are some ways to deal with insomnia when going through drug detox.
You Should Not Take Sleeping Pills During Drug Withdrawal
Sleeping pills may seem like a great idea when suffering from insomnia and drug or alcohol addiction withdrawal. However, some drugs may be dangerous while in rehab, especially if you’re taking other prescription medications that can cause drowsiness. Instead of using sleep aids, try relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises. Staying hydrated and eating before bedtime is also recommended.
Change Your Diet
Eating a healthier diet can help you sleep better and more deeply. This is because your body will produce melatonin, a hormone that encourages sleep. Eliminate as much sugar from your diet as possible. Sugar triggers insulin production, which produces cortisol (the stress hormone). Limit your intake of caffeine for about eight hours before bedtime. Alcohol also inhibits sleep so avoid it after dinnertime.
Hydrate Before Bedtime
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it pulls water from our bodies and therefore makes us dehydrated. This dehydration leads to problems falling asleep at night. Your best bet is to avoid alcohol in general, but if you do drink, make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day.
Turn Off Electronics an Hour Before Bedtime
Believe it or not, those glowing screens are hurting your sleep. The light interferes with your body’s ability to wind down and stay asleep. And if you’re spending time on social media right before bed, consider who you’re connecting with—it might not be good news! Consider limiting time on electronics an hour before bed.
Reduce Caffeine Intake Prior to Bedtime
Caffeine acts as a stimulant in your body, causing you to stay alert and awake even when you’re tired. As part of drug detox, reduce your intake of caffeine prior to bedtime. Opt for decaf coffee or chamomile tea instead of regular java so that you can fall asleep faster and more soundly during detox
Let Go of Stress
Stress can trigger insomnia. If you’re stressed, try some relaxation exercises like deep breathing, meditation or just a good night’s sleep. And remember that it is okay not to be okay for a little while. Give yourself permission to not feel perfect all of the time and do what you need to make your recovery as healthy as possible. Try some herbal tea or chamomile if you have trouble sleeping from stress.
Tense muscles and nerves cause restlessness, but there are simple relaxation techniques that can soothe your body and mind and help you sleep better. Try progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing exercises—others swear by yoga, meditation, even a good back rub! Whatever works for you is great. The important thing is to let your mind know it’s time for sleep. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes of practice, repeat it again in an hour or two.
Change Your Thinking About Sleep During Recovery
Most people who are going through drug or alcohol detox, find that they have difficulties getting a good night’s sleep. This is no surprise as many detox medications can disrupt sleep patterns, including muscle relaxants and pain medications. As well, many who are going through withdrawal from drugs or alcohol experience anxiety and stress which also disrupts their ability to sleep. So how do you deal with insomnia when going through drug detox? The best way is to change your thinking about sleep during recovery.