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Find out how addressing sleep can improve alcohol and other drug outcomes

Today is World Sleep Day, a day to raise awareness of the importance of sleep health.

We now know much more about how sleep, nutrition and exercise impact on mental health and how improving these can improve treatment outcomes. There is a complex relationship between alcohol and other drug use and sleep. Understanding this can improve quality of life and make engaging in treatment easier. We all know how lack of sleep can affect day to day mood, motivation and tolerance to stress.

Alcohol and other drug use impacts on sleep latency, duration and quality. There is also a connection between long term alcohol and other drug use and more severe sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Lack of sleep can make cravings more difficult to manage and may contribute to impulsivity and relapse because it makes it harder to control emotions.

Sleep also plays a big role in memory consolidation, and lack of sleep can impact learning during, making treatment progress slower. There are some simple things that practitioners can do to be more aware of the relationship between alcohol and other drug use and sleep and to provide assistance to clients in improving sleep quality.

The gold standard for treating sleep problems such as insomnia is cognitive-behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBTi). The elements of CBTi focus changing unhelpful thinking and habits, which can reduce the need to rely on alcohol or other drugs as a sleep aid.

Looking to expand your understanding of sleep? We’ve got just the workshop for you in October!