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Insomnia Make Giving Up Addiction Hard?

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by Rainman, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    One smoker told me that when he couldn't sleep, he'd smoke for as long as he was awake. That's why he always bought a pack or two of cigars, just in case . . .

    The same could apply to those who abuse other substances. Question is, if insomnia makes it hard for someone to kick an addiction, would taking sleeping pills be a good starting point? If they stay busy the whole day and sleep the whole night, would it be easier to overcome an addiction?
    Joseph likes this.
  2. stagsonline

    stagsonline Active Contributor

    I was a smoker for over two years and I can tell you that insomnia can really worsen things. You can imagine staying up almost all night having nothing to do. The urges keep increasing and you just find yourself smoking. Taking sleeping pills wouldn't solve the problem. It would practically worsen the situation because you would soon rely on the pills to sleep. Having adequate sleep can help you overcome addiction in some way. You will feel more relaxed.
  3. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I don't think sleeping pills would be a good solution since that would only substitute one chemical addiction for another. In my opinion, the best way to go about it is just healthy living. If you exercise sufficiently and eat right, then your body clock schedule would work much better as well as possibly even curbing your bad habits to some extent. When you exercise, your mind is more relaxed and you feel happier, so you won't need to rely as much on external stimulants.
    stariie likes this.
  4. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    Try taking over the counter sleep aids, they are not very strong but they do help. It is also herbal teas that offer help calming the body to get some rest. I tried breathing exercises, they worked for me sometimes, but it was toward the end of my withdrawals. Not getting rest while coming down is one worst symptoms we can deal with, I hope this helps. Good luck!
  5. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    I would suggest Valerian herbal pills to help someone who is having trouble with insomnia. It is all natural and has no danger of addiction what so ever. Also I have problems sleeping and the best thing I have found is to either go for a run or long brisk walk hours before bed time and take a nice hot shower after. I then curl up into bed and read a bit to relax. The hardest part for me is turning my mind off when I get into bed. It never seems to fail when I lay down I start checking off things in my head or start thinking about past actions. I have found that daydreaming turn it off pretty well. I know it sounds stupid, but it gives my mind something to do rather than obsess on something else.
    Joseph likes this.
  6. allswl

    allswl Member

    The problem of insomnia is common amongst many people who have a smoking addiction. I would not recommend that anyone take a sleeping especially when they have an addiction as the sleeping pill may become another addiction. What I would recommend is that they see a psychologist to help them figure out what the issue may be.
  7. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Unfortunately insomnia is a part of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), among other things. I don't think I got a "normal" night of sleep for the first 18 months of recovery. My doctor did not want to prescribe sleeping pills, but encouraged me to exercise more, meditate, avoid nicotine, try over the counter sleep aids, etc.
  8. mimsee

    mimsee Active Contributor

    During my first year or two of recovery I couldn't sleep at all either..until I discovered Zumba. I started going to Zumba classes every day except Sunday at the gym and by the time it was bed time I was so worn out that I fell asleep right exercise is definitely good if you're having issues with insomnia. :)
    stariie, Joseph and Jen S. like this.
  9. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    stariie and mimsee like this.
  10. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    There are other things that you could try before thinking about sleep aids. As others have mentioned, exercise and eating right will help regulate your body more. Now, I realize that is easier said than done for some people, so I would also like to offer a few other tips.

    1. Quiet Time: Prior to "going to bed" it's important to let your mind slow down. Give youself 15-30 minutes of time away from the TV, Kindle, computer, etc... This will help you slow down the thought process and prepare you for a nights sleep, rather than being stimulated and then trying to force sleep.

    2. Don't force it. One of the worst things you can do is lay in bed trying to force yourself asleep. Instead, get up and take a shower, do some exercise, have a warm snack, and retry.

    3. Get up at the same time everyday. I know this probably sounds stupid when we are talking about not being able to sleep, but studies have shown that a regular schedule, getting up and out of bed, at the same time every day, as well as limiting "naps", can help regulate sleeping patterns.

    4. Cognitive therapy helps some people with insomnia identify and then correct inappropriate thoughts and beliefs that may contribute to insomnia. It's not for everyone, and I realize that personal situations may play a factor, but if it's an option, give it a shot. You have nothing to lose, except sleep.
    Jen S. likes this.
  11. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Thanks for posting these, @Teens In Crisis
    #3 was probably the hardest thing for me to do, even though it sounds funny :)
    Nick W. likes this.
  12. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I can understand that. I had a seriously hard time with that too. It's especially hard to get up when there is not really any motivating factor. I've certainly been there. It helped me to make lists of things that needed done, or tasks that needed to be completed, and just work on them. It also provided a great time to get some workouts in.
  13. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    I've just learned to function on 5 to 6 hours of sleep. Over the counter drugs and prescribed sleep aids do nothing for me. I have my catch up days here and there, but I have gotten used to it pretty much. Naps are just a tease LOL.
  14. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    Science is only now starting to catch onto the effects that a lack of sleep has on the human body. The information that is currently coming out says that lack of 8-10hrs a night increases everything from blood pressure & sugar, to the risk of heart disease and stroke. Lack of sleep can be a dangerous game of cat & mouse. I wish you the best of luck with finding something that works.
  15. mimsee

    mimsee Active Contributor

    Oh goodness I usually only sleep 5 or 6 before I'm ready to get up and get moving :( I guess I need to make it a point to start staying in bed for longer! I want to keep myself as healthy as possible.
  16. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    The sleep schedule is actually something I still work on to this day. When you work from home full-time it's really easy to rock pajamas at 1pm like it's no big deal :)

    At home or commuting to an office - I still feel better when I follow a routine.
  17. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    I've had a problem with insomnia (I think I still do, but it's not that severe now) and based from experience, sleeping pills won't help a lot. Yes, it would induce sleep, that is true. But after a while, you would feel dependent to it and you wouldn't be able to sleep anymore without it.
  18. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I think insomnia does not deserve to be cited as the cause of someone's inability to give up addiction. Why? Because insomnia is a psychological problem in the first place. In other words, it's not a physiological ailment. It may have been the result of his addiction rather than the other way around. That's why he really must go to rehab. He'll find out he'll be able to sleep better after he's recovered.
  19. diecarmona

    diecarmona Member

    It's definitely to exercise than taking sleeping pills. Depending on external substances to get things done is what starts most addiction anyways ("I want to feel good" "I want to be awake" "I want to sleep"), if you have a desire, you should fulfill it yourself instead of looing for external substances to help you.

    xTinx is also right, insomnia could very well be a result of addiction instead of the other way around. And even if it stems from addiction, most symptoms will disappear within the week. So you just got to be strong and hang on.
  20. bluekknd2

    bluekknd2 Member

    It is a sad truth. Insomnia is common in recovering addicts. You need to wear yourself out. Cook, clean, go for a jog, play with the kids... Anything to be dead tired. Try to set and follow a sleep schedule. Roughing it for a couple sleepless nights can get you tired enough to sleep well the next night and get on schedule. It takes time but you will make out ok.