Methods for Sleep in Recovery

Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can be long-lasting. It may take weeks for regular functions to start normalizing. Sleep is one of the most important factors for a healthy recovery. Unfortunately, sleep is one of the most heavily influenced functions. Getting a restful good night’s sleep can be a challenge in early recovery. Chills, sweats, spasms, nightmares, traumatizing dreams, restlessness, and insomnia can all interrupt a solid sleep cycle. For initial treatment, medication will likely be prescribed to aid in obtaining the full 7-8 hours needed. However, there are other options for sleep which are just as effective, without prescription management.

Methods for Sleep in Recovery


Lavender is a wonder drug of nature. The fragrance of lavender is spellbinding. Lavender can be used in many ways. Essential oil of lavender can be applied to the wrists, temples, top of the head, and bottom of the feet. Absorbing into the bloodstream, lavender will calm the body. Lavender candles, scented pillows, and other aromatherapy can be used to put relaxation in the air. Lavender is available in lotions, bath soaps, shampoos and conditioners. Take a lavender Epsom salt bath before bed and use lavender products for cleaning. It will be hard not to yawn before bedtime.


Chamomile is another wonder of nature geared toward sleep. The world-famous tea company Celestial Seasonings aptly named its Chamomile tea “sleepytime tea”. Using chamomile flowers in aromatherapy combined with lavender will deliver a powerful olfactory sedative.


Eating a banana before bed has been shown to fill the stomach, calm the mind, and relax the body.


Practicing meditation before bed can help quiet the mind. Especially for those prone to overthinking, meditation is a way of focusing thoughts on the breath and relaxing to sleep.

Progressive Relaxation

Progressive relaxation is an MBSR technique. Using mindfulness to focus on various parts of the body, progressive relaxation prompts the tightening and release of different sets of muscles.

Counting Sheep

Counting sheep, counting backward from 100- whatever works best to distract the mind into sleep.

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