One of my huge problems has always been that when I lay down to try and go to sleep…I think and think and think. Thoughts pop into my head about certain things I should have done, things I’m supposed to do, things I have no business worrying about but can’t help it. If you read my story you can see that this seems to be a big part of my drug use.
This was a major reason I would self medicate at night. I always wanted to just drift off to sleep without having to think about anything. I tried counting and deep breathing. But that didn’t work. Drugs worked.
But now what? I’m not taking drugs anymore, I’m in recovery. So do I just go back to worrying myself to sleep? No. Just like anything else, being able to sleep properly without drugs took work. I spent many, many sleepless nights my first couple of weeks in recovery just sitting up and watching TV all night. This was driving me crazy.
I took the advice of a counselor and started a bedtime routine. I didn’t have much of a routine when I was using. Usually I passed out on the couch with my clothes on. Glamorous, I know. But a bedtime routine? Yes. A bedtime routine. I start my routine by having a coup of sleepytime tea. Then I tried something really out of the ordinary for myself…bedtime hygiene. It seems kind of gross but when I was using I never even thought of brushing my teeth or washing my face before bed. Like I said, I usually just passed out. Then I usually write in my journal for a little while and then read.
Reading has become a big part of me being able to fall asleep. I suggest it to anyone who is having trouble sleeping. Get yourself on a new nighttime routine that involves positive, relaxing things. Stick to it even if it doesn’t work right away. Soon you will let your body know it is time to unwind, relax and drift away to sleep.