Understanding Insomnia In Early Recovery
People who live with substance use disorder often have other behavior and health problems that need to be treated. Insomnia is a frequent complaint when people stop using alcohol or drugs. Some people only experience it while they are in withdrawal. For other people, sleep issues like insomnia can be persistent. Why is this?
Sleep Disturbances In Recovery
You may also experience other sleep issues, such as nightmares or trouble falling asleep if you have insomnia. While it may be disturbing, it’s a natural occurrence and often thought to result from long-term detoxing as your body rewires your brain. Some people have trouble falling asleep, while others may wake up feeling wide awake in the middle of the night.
People with alcohol use disorder may have more trouble falling asleep than others. Almost 25% of people who have an alcohol problem have sleep issues. People with opioid use disorder also have trouble sleeping during their first year sober as their body adjusts to life without substances. Dreams like drug dreams or dreams about past trauma can also disturb sleep.
Sleep Is Important
A lack of sleep can cause significant issues for people in recovery and should not go unaddressed. When you don’t sleep, your body and mind have trouble recovering and preparing for the next day. Lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to accidents or infections. For many people, insomnia causes additional stress that makes people more vulnerable to relapse.
Sleep is important to emotional and physical healing. Try to give yourself at least 8 hours to sleep every night.
Addressing Insomnia And Sleep Problems
Most people begin to sleep better after their first few months sober, but others may suffer from a sleep disorder. Sleeping disorders can be treated through cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, and relaxation exercises.
Behavioral changes may help a person establish a new sleep routine. Limiting activities in bed such as reading or “doomscrolling” can help signal to your body that it is time to rest. Establishing a simple nightly routine such as brushing your teeth, writing your gratitude list, and going to bed can also help prepare your mind and body to relax. Over-the-counter remedies for sleep can be a trigger for drug use. Don’t try to solve a sleep disorder on your own.
If you’re desperate for sleep, seek professional help. A medical doctor or psychiatrist can help you determine the best course of treatment for sleep issues.
Consider Sober Living
If you are newly sober and looking for a safe, recovery-focused home full of community, sober living may be right for you. Learn more about how it works by calling 760-216-2077.
For the past several years, there has been a lot of interest in the wellness community about an herb sold online called Kratom. Kratom is a drug that has been used for centuries in Southeast Asian countries for various reasons. The most notable of reasoning has been as a "substitute" for opiates. Because of this, many people who are desperate to quit opioids turn to this drug to help them ease their withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, this quick fix isn't a fix at all; the Food and Drug Administration has received reports of similar withdrawal symptoms when a user tries to quit taking Kratom.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a green powder supplement that has been sold as a sort of snake oil online. People have claimed it can boost their energy and moods, kill pain, and even fix their opioid withdrawal symptoms. All of these short-term effects are possible, but that doesn't make the supplement safe. Kratom is an unregulated drug that has been outlawed, in fact, in some Asian countries due to its similarity to opium.
Kratom is a quasi-legal substance, according to the FDA. They have already halted the drug's importations due to a lack of evidence that it has value as holistic medicine. People usually administer Kratom by drinking it as a tea or putting the powder into capsules they can swallow.
Kratom Is Probably Addictive, Too
Long-term users anecdotally will describe the need for more Kratom to get a similar effect as before. This is evidence that people who use Kratom build a tolerance to the drug similar to opioids. Some people who try to quit Kratom have what is described as a "rebound effect." They feel much worse when they are off of it than on it. If they took Kratom for anxiety, for example, they might discover that without Kratom, they feel worse than they did before when they're anxious.
People also have reported that they have gone through withdrawal when ceasing the use of the substance. According to Poison control centers in the United States, seven infants were exposed to Kratom and were hospitalized. Five of these children experienced withdrawal effects when the Kratom left their system, suggesting that it is powerfully addictive.
Other side effects from Kratom include liver damage, trouble breathing, muscle pain, chills, vomiting, nausea, and constipation. All of these symptoms are similar to opioid withdrawal symptoms. More troubling effects reported by Kratom users included dizziness, hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions during use or withdrawal.
Due to these issues, Kratom use is not recommended by medical professionals or the addiction recovery community. If you or a loved one need help to get clean from opioids, there are safer, more recovery-affirming options available. Don't trade one addiction for another.
Consider Sober Living
Staying sober can be difficult during these times. A sober living home can help you stay focused and grounded as you start your new life in sobriety. Make friends and learn to live life on its terms. Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077 to learn more about our residence, amenities, and recovery activities. We're happy to answer any questions you may have.
By now, you’ve probably heard about how important it is to have a healthy lifestyle when you get clean and sober. It’s true that by treating your body well, you can heal from much of the damage you did to yourself while in your active addiction. Exercise is one of the most important things to help you get a boost! It’s good for your body, mind, and spirit to get exercise. Getting active in recovery can help you immensely improve the quality of your life.
Why is Exercise So Important in Recovery?
Exercise is an integral part of both physical and mental wellness. It can help you relieve stress and calm down from anxiety. A chemical process takes place when a person exercises. As their body begins to sweat and heartbeat increases, chemical such as oxytocin are released. (Oxytocin has shown to be released more frequently in mice that exercise every day, and they exhibit more empathetic behavior and seem less anxious.)
Seratonin, a feel-good chemical, is also released by exercise. It helps people with mental health disorders manage symptoms like depression and anxiety. Everyone in recovery needs a natural boost to help manage negative feelings.
Exercise helps us detox our bodies from the toxins of everyday life. It can help you soothe your anxiety and help regulate your blood pressure. Our bodies were meant to stay in motion, and exercise is the key to make that so.
Exercise for Beginners (and the Reluctant)
Not everyone who exercises finds that it comes easily. While some people may have participated in sports or fitness before their addictions, other people may never have had the opportunity to find an exercise they enjoy.
There aren’t many safe opportunities for in-person exercise classes right now due to COVID. You can, however, find online exercise classes. Check Eventbrite or Youtube for people who do live sessions for free or within your budget. There are also plenty of people who teach a yoga class or boxing online – and some of these sessions are live with an instructor! Also, consider taking up surfing, or swimming, daily. The sun gives you Vitamin D to ward off depression, too!
If you can’t find a sport or organized activity you enjoy, just walk. Walking has fantastic benefits as a cardiovascular exercise. It’s the perfect exercise for all ages and fitness levels, especially for people who haven’t exercised a lot. Make sure you wear a mask when you go out and that you have an exact, safe route you plan on taking. Walk with a socially-distanced sober partner if you can.
Living in a Sober Home in Recovery
Living in a sober home helps people new to recovery to bond and learn to have friendships without using substances.
Living with others in recovery and having structure is an important way to help build a solid foundation in sobriety. Activities such as group outings are common in our communities. We’ll help you learn how to have fun in recovery! Learn more about what our sober homes offer by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Many of us are stuck indoors or minimizing our time outside because of the COVID-19 virus. Attending virtual 12-step meetings, checking in with a therapist, and working on your recovery goals can be a massive help to your attitude. Many people are suffering from anxiety, depressive symptoms, or frustration from the isolation. Instead of sinking into feelings of despondence, it’s time to use your tools to get through these days. Giving your endorphins a boost can help you remain calm and positive. These are the feel-good chemicals your body can create by itself.
Ways to Boost Your Endorphins
Being stuck indoors, whether it’s for 12 hours or 24 hours a day, is no fun. Everyone is missing being out with friends and just living a “normal” life. But you, and everyone else, are, for the most part, powerless over what’s happening right now.
What you can control are your own actions. Choosing to take care of your body and mental health is essential. You can do this in several ways. Endorphins even help to bolster your immune system.
Try these ideas:
- Exercise: Of all the activities that can boost your endorphins, exercise is always at the top of the list. It can help you beat down stress, become more optimistic, and increase your energy levels. At least 15 minutes of exercise a day is needed to get the most benefits.
- Have Some Fun: Laughter is a natural endorphin-booster. Stream a comedy set or a favorite funny movie. You’ll find your mood is uplifted, and you feel less stressed.
- Eat Chocolate: Don’t binge! But adding a small piece of chocolate to your morning coffee or as a dessert can activate the pleasure center of your brain.
- Vibe With Some Music: Everyone has music that inspires them. Listening to music can lift your mood and help you beat stress. Try to remember to do this on your most stressful days.
- Meditate: Meditation helps people handle stress better, partially due to endorphins but also because they release oxytocin, a chemical that quells anxiety.
Consider Sober Living
For many people in recovery, sober living is an important starting step to entering the world after completing a treatment program. Living among peers with similar goals helps you stay focused and you’ll also be part of an intimate, recovery-centered community. Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Getting and staying sober are worthy goals for a person new to a life without the use of drugs and alcohol. Taking care of yourself on a daily basis is an essential part of the process of becoming a responsible, productive member of society. Once you’ve graduated from a treatment program, you’ll learn more responsibilities and begin to live life on its terms.
Many people choose to continue to aftercare or sober living when they are done with treatment. These programs help you be accountable to yourself as well as others. They also help you be in an environment with other people in recovery who have goals. Cooking your own food, doing your own laundry, and helping keep a common space clean is an excellent way to start better habits and becoming responsible for recovery.
Cooking is an important life skill to learn when you're in recovery.
Why Cook Your Own Food?
Learning to cook in recovery is a life skill that many people decide to pursue when they’re in recovery. In sober living, especially, you’re expected to take care of yourself.
Pre-packaged food and takeout tend to be low in nutrients and high in salt, cholesterol, and preservative like monosodium glutamate. Pick up any frozen meal at the grocery store, and you’ll find that one serving has anything between 28% to 60% sodium for your whole day. High sodium can make you feel sluggish, cause blood pressure to increase and make you more susceptible to heart problems down the toad.
Before you got sober, you may have eaten out a lot or bought chips and microwave meals. These foods don’t nourish the body or the mind. They’re not appropriate for a family dinner table, either. Cooking real, whole food is a gift that you can give yourself and others in recovery. It will help you feel mentally sharper and physically healthier. It will bring people together to share and enjoy your creations.
Add fruits and vegetables on the side of your meals every day to round them out. If you live in a community or family setting, offer to make a side dish one night while others cook another part of the meal. You can take turns cooking the main course.
Learning to Cook
There are plenty of blogs online for beginning cooks. Youtube also has many types of recipes for beginners. You can also ask your housemates or relatives to cook with you so that you can learn to create their favorite recipes.
Some types of cooking, such as preparing salads, are easy and intuitive. Other types of cooking, such as baking a home-made pizza crust, will take a couple of tries before you get them right.
Taking care of yourself and being responsible is an essential part of recovery. It can also be fun once you’ve learned how to enjoy cooking! Pay attention to how your body feels on a day that you’re eating home-cooked foods rather than chips and hot dogs.
Food brings people together. In sober living and home life, you can learn to cook meals for more than yourself. Housemates and family will appreciate your effort, and you’ll have the added benefit of knowing what’s in your food. Eating healthy and enjoying simple pleasures will help you find purpose in your day-to-day sobriety.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living is an adventure that helps you gain your footing as you transition from treatment to everyday life. Most people use their time in sober housing to find a job, stabilize their surroundings, and learn to enjoy life without alcohol or drugs.
Learn more about your sober housing options by calling us at 760-216-2077.
With all of the focus on health and wellness in the world today, people have begun to take their mental health seriously. Your mental health is also very much a part of living a life of recovery. As you stay sober, you’ll notice certain problems that hold you back in life and cause you mental stress. Maybe you also struggle with a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety. Whatever your mental health situation, it’s important to do your best to take care of yourself. The goal of recovery is a better life. Being at your best, mentally, will help you through your new journeys.
Gut Health, the Body, and Mental Health
Scientists have only recently studied the effect of food on the body, but one promising new study found that probiotics can be a part of that. A research study analyzed “gut health” and the microbial universe within your stomach walls and its relationship to mood. The releationship isn’t super clear, but studies have shown that when people take probiotic supplements with “good bacteria” in them, they experience significant changes in their mental state. Probiotics seemed to help rid their anxiety levels and stress levels. Study participants given probiotics also had their attitudes improve.
So where can you get probiotics? There are nutritional supplements available, but the prices and quality will probably vary a lot. However, many people get their probiotics from yogurt and their vegan counterparts.
Healthier Food Can Help With Mental Health
Studies also show that nutrient-rich food can help improve moods. In fact, science has shown that carbohydrates are linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. While the jury is still out on the evidence, experts agree that carb cravings could be related to low serotonin activity.
Healthier carbs, such as brown rice, beans/legumes, salads, and even fruit, can help the body function better and add antioxidants to your diet, which can help fight cell damage (which many people who fight addiction may have.)
Healthy protein choices such as tuna or chicken also contain an acid called tryptophan, which can help your body regulate seratonin. Having enough protein is important for skin, nails, muscles, and hair. So even if you’re vegan, please try to eat something with protein several times a day. It will help you boost your energy and build a strong body.
Consider Sober Living
Many people live in sober living environments because they want to focus on themselves and their recovery. Is sober living right for you? Give us a call to learn more about our programs and if they fir your needs. Call us at 76-216-2077.
The media in the world we live in perpetuates a lot of stereotypes. For as far back as many of us can remember, men have been portrayed as stoic and “tough”. As boys, you probably played a lot of pretend “alpha male” games such as cowboy, fireman, and other roles. While these roles are great in the movies, the role of man in society today is changing. Men can, and do, have emotions all of the time. Sometimes men suffer from mental health issues, too.
Talking about these types of issues can feel difficult at first, but now, more than ever, men (especially men in recovery!) are discovering that opening up about their mental health is important.
Everyone Struggles With Emotions Sometimes
Even Prince Harry, in fact, recently opened up to talkl about his personal struggles after his mother’s death. He experienced long periods of both anxiety and rage. As a member of Englands’ royal family, he was provided with all the resources he needed to recover and learn to manage his emotions effectively.
A lot of your experiences with expressing emotions may have been limited by the family you grew up with. Some families discourage showing emotions or talking about feelings. If this is your family, think about how it has worked out for you.Talking to people about feelings can be scary, but in recovery, emotions happen whether you want them to or not. Learning to cope with feelings is a huge part of learning to live without the use of alcohol or drugs.
Mental Health Matters! Please Ask for Help
Many people in recovery also struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Talk therapy and other modes of self-care can help you learn to master your emotions and mental health symptoms.
Some people find that meditation helps them relax if they do it a few times a week. Exercise can also help boost endorphins, creating feel-good chemicals that combat depressive feelings.
The number one thing you can do if you’re struggling with emotions or mental health issues is ASK FOR HELP. No one can help you get better if you don’t tell them something is wrong. If you suspect you have a mental health disorder, ask friends or family to help you seek out a therapy provider or psychiatrist to help you with your symptoms.
You are worth it! If you are feeling lonely, down, depressed, or anxious, reach out to your support network. You’ll probably find somebody else has felt the same way you do and has suggestions.
Looking for San Diego Sober Living?
Many people find that sober living situations help smooth the transition from treatment to their daily world. Many people just like you have sought comfort, hope and inspiration in our sober living environment as they rebuild their lives. Learn more about how you can live in our structured, support homes post-detox or rehab. Call us at 760-216-2077.
When you think of the word “health,” what comes to mind? When you were using, you probably weren’t doing healthy things. The World Health Organization defines health as a complete state of mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. These are needs that remain the same across cultures. When you were using, did you make it a point to take care of your health? Did you make sure that you went to an annual check-up and saw the doctor when you were sick? Probably not.
It’s hard to be a health or fitness lover while you’re stuck in active addiction. Depending on your drug of choice, there is possible damage that you may need to address at some point in life.
Taking Care of Your Physical Health
Just like all well-built machines, our bodies need more maintenance, too. It’s essential you get a full checkup when you first get clean and follow up on doctor recommendations.
It may seem difficult at first, but caring about yourself and your physical health is an important part of recovery. You’ve already taken a significant step towards better health by quitting drugs and alcohol. Now it’s time to focus on your long-term health. How is your diet? Do you eat vegetables and fruit daily? You can nourish your body with better nutrition. Try to get the right amount of fruits and vegetables daily, and try to exercise every day, even if it’s just going on a 15-minute walk.
Taking care of yourself also means regular doctor appointments. If you have health worries, don’t keep them to yourself. You may feel guilty for abusing your body by using for so long – but judging isn’t your doctors’ job. A doctor wants to help you heal, and if you are having problems, it’s best if you make her aware of them. Taking care of hidden or chronic diseases can help you stay healthy for life.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Stress is a difficult thing to live with, but it’s also a fact of life. Learning how to live with stress without using substances is an integral part of living in recovery. Taking care of your mental health includes learning self-care techniques, learning to de-stress, and reaching out to others when you’re feeling negative. It also means taking care of any co-occurring disorders.
Depression, anxiety, and trauma are common issues that people deal with in recovery. If you suffer from these disorders, or you think you might have a mental health issue, take care of yourself. Seek out a referral to a mental health professional to get help and learn to live with your disorders.
Reaching for Spiritual Health
In recovery, you are asked to believe in a power greater than yourself. Some people in recovery already know what higher power they believe in, and decide to attend church services or begin meditating. Getting closer to a higher power will make the 12 steps easier to take, and having faith in a higher power can help you find solace during troubling times.
But what about people who don’t have a religion? How can you develop a spiritual life if you’re not sure what you believe?
You don’t have to decide on a higher power overnight. Your spiritual health doesn’t have to rely on a diety to feel spiritual. Do you love spending time in nature? Or do you find a particular musician uplifting? Look for the things in life that make you feel spiritual. Seek out activities that make you appreciate life and the world around you. Ask around to find what other people do when they struggle with spirituality.
Live in a Healthy Environment
Many people find that a sober home is a healthy environment to live in while they are transitioning from treatment to the "real world." Are you looking for an option like this? Get in touch to learn about our sober living homes and find out if they are appropriate for you. Call us at 760-216-2077.