Napping can be an essential tool for early recovery and all recovery ongoing. Naps don’t replace sleep. If you get a poor night’s sleep, a nap will help you feel well rested, but doesn’t make up for the night before. A good nap is like an energy reboot. As you continue recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, a nap is exactly what you need to maintain emotional regulation and your energy.
Don’t Expect The Best Nap Ever
Studies have shown that trying to make sleep “perfect” actually makes sleep more difficult. You stress your brain out unnecessarily with high expectations of feeling relaxed and sleepy. If you aren’t extremely tired and ready to fall into a snooze, just start relaxing. Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths will still be restful. Use mindfulness to slowly let your thoughts go. You might not fall asleep or into a deep sleep, but you will relax. Most often, you’ll relax yourself to sleep.
Do Create Good Napping Conditions
The truth is, when you’re really tired and in need of a nap, you can catch some Z’s standing up if you have to. Otherwise, it is beneficial to create good napping conditions. Somewhere comfortable to lay down is preferable. Minimizing the amount of light and interruption is preferable as well. Your brain needs the darkness to know that it is time to sleep. Light and stimulation tell the brain it needs to be awake.
Know Your Naptime
Some people are able to fall into a deep ten minute or twenty minute nap and wake up totally refreshed. When other people go down for a nap, they end up sleeping for hours. Much research has been dedicated to the science of napping. Researchers have found that 20 minute nap is the optimum amount of snoozing time you need to rest your brain, dip into REM, and wake up well rested. Some researchers have suggested that a full 60-90 minute nap can completely boost your productivity and creativity, but others have suggested going into that deep of a sleep can cause dreaming and the brain will want to sleep longer, leaving you groggy and unable to get your energy back when you wake up.
Oceanfront Recovery is a full continuum of residential care seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction as well as dual diagnosis mental health disorders. For information on our programs, call us today: (949) 207-9899