Increasing Energy During Recovery
It is not uncommon to experience low energy during the first few months after opioid detox. One reason patients may experience low energy after detox is that the body is not producing dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that allows us to feel happiness and pleasure and is important in a range of body systems and functions. With long-term opioid abuse the brain eventually stops producing dopamine because it is overloaded with opioids. The body also was impaired because of opioid abuse. With opioids no longer in the body after detox, the brain will once again start to produce dopamine and the body will start to be restored…but it may take a few months for a patient in recovery to get their energy level back to 100%.
It is important to practice energy increasing habits while your body is beginning to heal. Here are a few ways to improve your energy during this time.
Get Sufficient Sleep
To restore energy it is important to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Here are a few tips to help you do this.
- Avoid Caffeine. Many of us go to caffeine during the morning and afternoon to give us that energy boost we need. To get the body ready for rest, after supper only drink caffeine free beverages.
- Limit Naps. Some people take “power naps” in the afternoon. It is fine to get a small nap, but don’t let it go over 20 to 30 minutes.
- Turn Off Electronics. The room you sleep in should be dark. Some like the eye masks if they cannot get the room completely dark. Regardless, do not watch tv, check emails, or get on facebook before you go to sleep.
- Keep A Bed Time Schedule. Try to go to bed the same time every night, even on weekends.
Moving your body will really help your energy level the first few months after opioid detox. Exercise increases the level of dopamine in the body naturally. Exercise during opioid detox and recovery can reduce withdrawal symptoms, cravings, help prevent relapse, and help provide a way to cope with triggers and reduce stress.
Start slow with walking. Walking is good for all ages and levels of fitness. Others enjoy yoga. Do not start vigorous exercise until you have consulted your doctor. Now that the weather is getting warmer, take a walk outside. Getting out and enjoying the fresh air and nature can give a fresh outlook to any day.
We all know how to eat healthy and nutrition is especially important during detox and recovery. Try to have a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, fish, and chicken. Consume the healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado, to name a few. Try to limit preprocessed food and sugar, but rewarding yourself with an occasional treat is ok. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
To eat healthy you really need to be organized and plan your meals. Make a list for the week before you go to the grocery. Once you get in the habit of doing this, it will become much easier and you will enjoy how you feel.
Life Long Healthy Living
Nutrition, sleep, and exercise will help your energy level with detox and recovery while your body is beginning to rebuild. The goal is with feeling better you will maintain healthy living, giving you a better opportunity for successful recovery.
AMC is here for you. We want you to have life long recovery. Our compassionate, caring team of professionals will help you detox with minimum withdrawal symptoms and cravings with individualized medication-assisted treatment (MAT). We provide counseling and support that will help you tremendously in your recovery. Give us a call today and take your life back.