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  • Writer's pictureChoice Recovery

Sleep Well

Purposeful sleep is critical in life and recovery for several reasons, including:

  • It builds trust.

  • It supports habit change.

  • It repairs our physical being.

To operate at peak performance, that is, to be ready to take on the challenges and emotions life delivers daily, we need our sleep. The fact is, if we are tired due to a lack of sleep, we become forgetful, we are more likely to get sick, and our cravings increase. While you may think you can manipulate the amount of sleep you need through caffeine and other vices, you can’t. There is no replacement for sleeping well.

It Builds Trust:

When well-rested, we do things like work harder, show up on time, and communicate better; we even begin to make purposeful choices. Building trust with ourselves and others is about following through on what we said we would do, which occurs more often when we get enough sleep.

It Supports Change:

It is hard to change habits and beliefs; it is even harder to do when exhausted. When we are tired, we are lazy, and we find it easy to return to the comfort of old behaviors when we are lazy. Purposeful sleep gives us the energy needed to confront the challenges of life and recovery; it allows us to accept and work through the fears and unknowns our new approach to life brings.

It Repairs our Physical Being:

Years of drug and alcohol abuse destroy our mind, body, and spirit. The good news is that our bodies will repair themselves once we stop using and give them the ingredients for better health; sleeping well is one of those ingredients. Research shows that the benefits of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night include, but are not limited to, a healthier liver, healthier weight, healthier heart, a more resistant immune system, healthier skin, stronger bones and muscles, and better brain health.

How To Improve Sleep:

Great sleep does not just happen. Like anything that provides tremendous benefits, we must put effort into achieving the desired goal. To improve our sleep, we can:

Mute Our Nervous System: Our breathing affects our heart rate and state of relaxation. When we can calm ourselves down through mindful breathing, it eases our fight or flight response system i.e., our nervous system. With our nervous system muted, it becomes easier to fall asleep and sets the stage for more meaningful sleep.

Sounds: Meditation music, white noise, pink noise, and ambient sounds help the mind, body, and spirit relax. These types of music at bedtime settle the chaos bouncing around in our heads and allow us to focus more on what we have to be grateful for.

Develop a Sleep Schedule: Research shows that going to bed at the same time each night as well as waking up at the same time each morning leads to purposeful and impactful sleep. The goal is to have a regular sleep schedule that allows for 7 to 9-hours of sleep each night.

Watch When & What You Eat & Drink: Drinking soda, energy drinks, coffee, or anything with caffeine after 2:00 pm makes sleep more difficult. Additionally, be aware of what foods keep you up at night or allow you to sleep comfortably. Measuring your sleep against your dietary habits and modifications will assist in finding a combination that supports quality sleep. You might be surprised how much your diet affects your sleep patterns.

Other: Blue light before bed suppresses the natural release of melatonin, making it harder for us to fall asleep. It is a good practice to turn off the phone, computer, tablet, etc., 30-minutes before going to sleep. Other things like exercise, sunlight, journaling, and temperature control all play a role in the amount and quality of our sleep.

The daily adventures we encounter in life test our commitment to recovery. In those vulnerable moments when life seems unfair, we get to choose which direction we send our lives. When well-rested, the probability that we make purposeful choices increases dramatically. We must recognize that the demands of life and recovery are real. If we prepare ourselves each day through things like nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and sleep, we will be more satisfied with how we handle these demands and the results our actions produce.


AHCCCS Insurance is accepted for intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment at Choice Recovery. Our integrated evidence-based IOP is available in the morning, evening, and via telehealth. In addition to group counseling, individuals enrolled in our program have the option to meet with a therapist one-on-on.

Choice Recovery service the Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe area with intensive outpatient services (IOP). Our convenient downtown Mesa location offers easy access from all parts of the East Valley. Choice Recovery accepts Mercy Care, United Healthcare, AZ Complete Health, and Banner University insurance, along with most private insurance plans.


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