Looking for something you can do to help your recovery? Why not sleep on it? No, really: Getting into the habit of good, full nights of sleep is one of the best things you can do, both for your recovery and for your overall health.
Researchers have found that, when you have disrupted sleep patterns, it increases your risk of relapse—and it is not hard to understand why. Maintaining your recovery is a challenge, one that requires all the strength, resilience, clear-headedness, and optimism that you can muster. But when you start the day already running close to empty—sleep-deprived and energy-deficient—you’re at a major disadvantage as you tackle new challenges and stresses.
To do the hard work of recovery, your body and mind both need to be in peak condition—and while the occasional restless night is to be expected, chronic sleeplessness is bound to throw your recovery off course. So what can be done to help you develop better sleeping patterns for yourself?
Consider a few practical steps:
- Taper off your caffeine intake after noon.
- Ensure that you have a cool, dark environment in which to sleep.
- Turn off your phone, tablet, and laptop a couple of hours before bed; the blue light from your screens can actually disrupt your sleeping pattern.
- Try to get some physical activity at some point during the day, though ideally not right before bedtime.
- Be consistent in your sleep schedule, both going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
- Practice yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to help you cope with stress and anxiety.
Sleep is an essential, non-negotiable ingredient in your recovery. Make it a priority. Work toward getting better sleep at night by following these quick tips and techniques.