During recovery you need sleep more than anything else. That deep healing REM sleep helps you think rationally, fights off cravings and stabilizes your hunger switch. Essentials to not relapse. Blood sugar imbalances and hunger hormones out of control triggered by insufficient sleep, make you vulnerable to your primary drug of choice; whether that be food, starvation, drugs or alcohol (yes, some people can get high on starvation due to specific imbalanced brain chemistry, as seen in long-term Anorexia).
Why commit to sleep?
Well, regardless of what else you do, if you are not sleeping you are not getting those deep layers of recharge that your brain and body needs to let go and rebuild the damage done from drugs, eating disorders and alcohol abuse.
This is the single most fundamental step to also show yourself that you are ready to commit to the process, as this step does not interfere with your primary self-destructive behavior - in other words: if you can't commit to sleep ask yourself, if you are really ready to change right now?
When you are ready and can accept that recovery is a process of many small steps, you can change.
Lean in, accept where you are and then let go and move forward. If you constantly tell yourself how you need to wait for the perfect time etc., you are holding yourself captured in an illusion that will eventually kill you ever so slowly.
Every attempt of perfection is a form of self-abuse.
This is why the process out of any self-destructive behavior leans towards moderation and learning to accept that which is imperfect. This doesn't mean you cannot change. But change does not happen through hatred, self-abuse and envy. Lasting internal change that will inevitably lead to external change, comes from a place of love, compassion and small steps.
Your brain and body recharges and heals during 10 PM - 2 AM.
It is critical for anyone dealing with an eating disorder or addiction to get their sleep routine down to rebalance biochemically. This is the single most important step before focusing on any other behavior and nutritional steps. Simply because your brain cannot use its frontal lobe aka rational decision-making, nor can your body utilize all the nourishing foods you may be giving it, if you don't allow time for rest and digest. Timing is important because we have an internal clock that sends off specific hormones at specific times, so you want to honor that with your lifestyle to not only survive recovery, but to THRIVE in recovery.
Get to bed 10 PM every night, no excuses. Yes, you may find yourself tossing and turning in the first couple weeks until your body clock resets. Just continue to be consistent and hit the covers.
How To Start This Step?
- Quit coffee after 12 PM (for most people it takes up to 10-12 hrs to get the caffeine out of your system)
- Take relaxing herbs such as valerian, passion flower and kava kava around 8 PM
- Take a hot bath with lavender or chamomile essential oils to calm down; raising you body temperature slightly before bed, is a natural biological phenomenon signaling to your mind+body that it is ready to go to sleep
- Go to bed 10 PM
- Put on a guided meditation tape at a sound level, that you can fall to sleep to
Remember to print+pin Motivation to help you through the rough patches.