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Overcoming Insomnia in Early Sobriety

The reason why addiction is a mental disorder is that it has the same altering effect on brain structure that other mental disorders have. Most of these side effects of abuse disappear after detoxifying for a week, but post-acute withdrawal syndrome can cause milder symptoms such as insomnia for weeks. However, there ways to beat insomnia in early sobriety without relying on prescription drugs to solve the problem.

6 Minute Read | Published Sep 17 2023 | Updated Jan 22 2024

How to Deal With Insomnia in Early Sobriety

Relapse happens in a process, and if an addict doesn’t get enough rest each night, it can put a damper on every day. The added stress that this puts on a person’s mental state can cause problems to escalate and potentially lead to relapse. Early recovery is also the most risky time for an addict; a JAMA study suggests that type II diabetes and addiction have similar relapse rates of between 40 and 60 percent. In this article, we will look at tips for overcoming sleep problems in early recovery.

Avoid Serious Talks Close to Bedtime

One of the biggest reasons why people struggle to fall asleep is due to stress. The brain overworking itself because it’s filled with emotional thoughts can keep you awake. Therefore, you should avoid taking part in emotionally-charged conversations close the time you want to sleep to avoid insomnia in early sobriety.

Stop Drinking Coffee at Night

Many of the support groups meet at night so that more people are able to fit it into their schedule. However, at these meetings, coffee is usually available. In order to beat insomnia in sobriety, one must take simple steps such as avoiding drinking coffee in the evening hours, such as at support group meetings.

Switch Off Hand-Held Electronics

Browsing the internet on your phone from your bed or getting calls late at night from people in your support network can put a real damper on a good night’s sleep. Insomnia in early sobriety can come from spending too much time on your phone or tablet late at night. Instead, switch off all of your devices when you get settled into bed.

Get Into a Peaceful State

There are various things that you can do to reduce insomnia in sobriety. One way is to find your peace. Some people prefer to read a book before they sleep while others find that a meditation before bedtime helps them to sleep better.

Maintain Your Schedule

Keeping to an exact routine can greatly help a person’s sleep schedule. Having this routine broken up by invitations from friends can cause havoc to your sleep. Instead, learn to say no to invitations if it will cause you to stay up way past your regular sleep time. It can take days before you’re able to fix your sleep problems in early recovery if you break your schedule.

Night Drinks

One of the ways that you can stave off insomnia in early sobriety is by tricking your body into sleep mode. You can achieve this by having a sugar-free, non-alcoholic and caffeine-free drink at the same time every night before you go to bed. Having it at the same time each night can help to create a signal to your body that it’s time to sleep now.

Avoid Sugar

Sugar can cause a burst of energy and make it difficult to fall asleep at night. If you avoid having sugar before you sleep it can help to keep your mood and energy levels stable, assisting with regular sleep.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.


bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
"Substance Use Disorders and Sleep"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
"Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep in Recovery"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet American Addiction Centers
"Sleep Disorders in Early Recovery"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Mayo Clinic
"Insomnia: How to Get Better Sleep"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Sleep Foundation
"How Substance Abuse Affects Sleep"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Verywell Mind
"How to Deal with Insomnia in Early Recovery"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Healthline
"11 Strategies for Managing Insomnia During Addiction Recovery"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Addiction Center
"Tips for Getting Quality Sleep in Early Recovery"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet National Sleep Foundation
"Sleep and Addiction Recovery"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Psych Central
"Sleep and Addiction Recovery"
Retrieved on June 28, 2023

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