Healthy Sleep Patterns Often Inconsistent During Treatment And Recovery, Says Study

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Healthy Sleep Patterns Often Inconsistent During Treatment And Recovery, Says Study

A new study from the United Kingdom sought to examine the sleep patterns of both women and men who were being treated for a substance use disorder in inpatient rehab facilities. What they found was unsettling – healthy sleep patterns are not often sustained during recovery.

For the investigation, lead author Dr. Rob Meadows and a research team examined data from 19 female and nine male subjects who agreed to participate in the study while in inpatient treatment for addiction in England. The centers offered individual and group therapy sessions, supervised detox, creative workshops, exercise, and more.

Participants were asked to wear a device that monitored movement on their wrists and to record their sleep patterns for two weeks before being interviewed and evaluated by researchers.

They found that for some subjects, the dynamic between periods of activity and rest were nearly identical, and exhibited repetitive patterns. Still, others were found to have combined sleep periods but were at times inconsistent.

For those participating in rehab, sleep can become unique for the individual. The research teams discovered that during addiction treatment, sleep waves could become relatively balanced. However, anxieties associated with the future could affect the patient’s sleep rhythms and could also affect the process of recovery.

From the study:

“Institutionalised routines reproduce and impose ideas of day/night sleep cycles which are presumed to accord with ‘natural’ circadian rhythms.”

“Sleep waves can become relatively stabilized in rehabilitation settings, but the anticipation of moving on disturbs rhythms and generates anxieties which can affect recovery.”

Settings found in most addiction treatment centers aren’t conducive to stress-free sleep for many reasons. One, patients in the study noted that they were not allowed to nap. Others said they had long-term sleep problems even back to childhood. Others felt isolated in the facility.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology



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