Why sleep is a foundation to self care and successful recovery
One of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself is get the right amount of good sleep. Your immune system is working to regenerate your body while you sleep, which is necessary to have a healthy mind and body when you are awake.
And when it comes to recovery, research shows without a doubt that sleep disturbance is a universal risk factor for relapses.
We work with our members right away on how to start sleeping as part of getting healthy and working a solid path to recovery.
Here’s a video we like on sleep and how to get better at it.
We can’t think clearly when we are deprived of sleep. Sleep deprivation is used in interrogations, and is considered to be a form of torture. The first symptoms of sleep deprivation are loss of coherent thought and irrationality. After 24 hours, there are huge drops in cognitive functions like accurate memory and speech. Eventually, people start to hallucinate and break with reality.
Researchers have looked into the relationship between sleep and use of meth and cocaine. Of course, Stimulants keep people awake when they use them. They also disrupt sleep rhythms and affect the depth of sleep cycles that our brains need to function properly in between use. Long-term use leads to long-term effects.
When someone uses methamphetamine, the dopamine and serotonin system in their body adapts by lowering the natural levels of these neurotransmitters. Low levels of dopamine and especially serotonin can be very disruptive to sleep and energy levels. Methamphetamine also decreases energy levels like motivation and changes the melatonin system which leads to a lot of sedation.
Not being able to sleep or long periods of not sleeping, alternating with long periods of sleeping – sometimes as much as 24-48 hours – are common effects of using meth and cocaine. This contributes to psychosis in users who can experience delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and irritability. It’s a contributor to why meth users scratch and pick at their skin, reacting to a perceived hallucination of a feeling that something is crawling all over them.
The good news is that sleep problems and other side-effects of chronic meth use like skin sores and weight loss can be reversed. Coming down from meth or going through withdrawal can involve wakefulness, decreased sleep time at night or increased daytime sleeping, and increased time it takes to fall asleep. People feel exhausted but have trouble falling or staying asleep. These disturbances can last for several weeks after stopping using meth.
When was the last time you felt really rested?