Many addicts and alcoholics in early recovery suffer from a chronic feeling of tiredness, which could be attributed to a number of factors. One such factor is simply due to the fact that in early recovery, a schedule of meetings and felllowship (in addition to any job or school demands) can keep the recovering addict quite busy. Most of us come into recovery having little to no actual social lives, and discovering the fellowship of sobriety, and learning we can actually have fun sober, can cause many to take these things to the extreme. While they are helpful, it is important to exercise moderation and ensure we are taking time to heal and rest. Other factors are more biological in nature.
Several studies have shown that insomnia is a common affliction for those in early recovery. A 2014 study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine (Kaplan et al., 2014) notes that insomnia is much more prevalent in people who are newly sober than in the rest of the general population; these sleep disturbances can persist for months, particularly in those recovering from opiate addiction. Further, prior to getting sober, many alcoholics have used alcohol to address or handle sleep problems. Extensive drug and alcohol use can damage or disrupt systems in the brain, and until those systems have time to heal, sleep problems can persist, contributing to that constant feeling of fatigue.
Another source of low energy in the addicted population is known as Adrenal Fatigue. Adrenalfatigue.org defines this condition as “a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level”. They note that the main symptom of this condition is a feeling of general fatigue or tiredness. The adrenal glands are responsible for initiating the body’s response to stress through a variety of hormonal systems. When the body is exposed to chronic stress (such as in long-term alcoholism or addiction), this system can get overwhelmed and fail to meet the demands being placed on it.
What actions can I take?
If you are newly sober, getting adequate sleep is essential to continued recovery. Sleep is the body’s time to repair and heal itself, and if you are constantly tired and fatigued, your chances of relapse are increased. If you are having difficulties sleeping, try different techniques for relaxing before bed, such as guided meditation, warm baths, use of essential oils such as lavender, or deep breathing exercises. Further, talk to your doctor about adrenal support and ways to boost this system- proper nutrition and exercise will help considerably. Finally, while there is a lot of fun and excitement to be had in your new sober life, be sure you aren’t overdoing it. Take time for yourself and don’t stay up late every night, because this will prevent you from getting into a normal sleeping schedule.
If you feel like you might need help for an addiction or drinking problem, contact the admissions team at Serenity Acres today.