Sleep

 Any abnormalities in your sleeping patterns are usually a red flag that you are about to go through a change in your mood cycle. Typically, and in my experience, less sleep is associated with mania while oversleeping is associated with depression. In a way it is a blessing that we have this as an early warning sign because we can take action in a number of ways to combat the coming changes.

Special glasses block the blue light rays that signal to your brain that it's day time. This results in a flood of melatonin to the brain, making you sleepy
Special glasses block the blue light rays that signal to your brain that it’s day time. This results in a flood of melatonin to the brain, making you sleepy

When I notice that I am sleeping 2-3 hours less per night I will start off by trying to increase the melatonin in my system. This can be done by taking it as a supplement or simply by spending more time in the dark. Light-rays contain blue light which tells your body it’s day time so you need to stay awake.  Shutting off the lights, TV’s, computers and cell phones will usually help you fall asleep. This is difficult for some so I recommend using BLUE LIGHT BLOCKERS which will allow you to use technology while at the same time decreasing the amount of blue light absorbed by your eyes, resulting in an increase of melatonin in your system and a feeling sleepiness.

When I find that I am over sleeping and taking naps at every opportunity I find it’s best to double down on my routine. Making it a point to wake up and do my MORNING RITUAL no matter how tired I feel often gives me an energy boost and helps me start off on the right foot and redirect any negative feelings.

Special glasses block the blue light rays that signal to your brain that it’s day time. This results in a flood of melatonin to the brain, making you sleepyI highly recommend using a sleep tracker like the FitBit or the Jawbone Up. These are fairly accurate at tracking how long you sleep and how well you sleep. This data is invaluable because it can be compared with other data that you should be tracking, including how much you exercise, your calorie intake, and your mood throughout the day.

If you notice that you’re sleeping much more when you eat more, you can use that data when looking at your mood. This is the best way to determine how much to eat and sleep. Find the sweet spot by recording, tracking, and analyzing data. For me the sweet spot is about 7 hours of sleep/night, 2500 calories/day and 45 minutes of exercise/day.

sleepIf you take medications sharing your sleeping data with your doctor is beneficial because it sometimes requires a medication adjustment. This is a pretty quick way to handle the situation because some medications make you super sleepy while others give you a boost of energy. I’m usually able to address my sleeping issues with natural means but there have been times where I’ve had to turn to the doctor and it was effective.

The important thing is to avoid any extreme episodes. If we can cut them off in their tracks, before they result in any negative life consequences then we will be all the better. The tricky thing is the manic episodes because they often come with a feeling of euphoria and we feel that we don’t need any extra sleep. The need for sleep is still there and it does catch up with you. Sleep deprivation can cause some serious problems including hallucinations and hearing voices. It’s fine to be a little crazy, but we don’t want to go full blown maniac especially when it is totally avoidable.

6 thoughts on “Sleep

  • September 2, 2016 at 11:01 pm
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    Now that is very interesting. I never knew that lights make it harder for you to go to sleep by telling the brain it’s time to wake up. Sometimes I have a lamp on while I sleep and I wake up and can’t go back to sleep. Could that be the reason? I’ve never slept as low as 2-3 hours though. That sounds like it could be a struggle to ever wake up.

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    • September 3, 2016 at 12:22 pm
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      Thanks for sharing your comment Will. It’s true, the blue light emitted from lamps and screens can keep you awake. In the modern world that we live in it’s almost impossible to escape the blue light by shutting them off. That’s why I just put on the blue light blockers, that way I can still check my email before bed and get around the house without stubbing my toes!

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  • September 2, 2016 at 11:09 pm
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    Very informative and well written article you have here. Due to the nature of my job in the past, I used to sleep an average of 4-6 hours daily. Although I was really tired by the end, I was never stressed out or depressed.

    But when my family was struggling with financial problems, I realised that I sleep even less hours (about 2-3 hrs) daily. I went to the doctor and got prescribed with sleeping pills and anti-depressants. Only then was I able to get better rest.

    I totally agree with you that, if it really comes down to it, go and see a doctor for help. Thanks, and great article!

    Reply
    • September 3, 2016 at 12:19 pm
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      Hi Farhan, thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience. Having a job that allows you to get sufficient sleep is one of the most important parts of managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder. A lot of people find themselves working in graveyard shift jobs. These may work out for a while, but are more likely to trigger a manic episode because of the sleep deprivation. It’s just harder to sleep during the day unless you have curtains that blackout the windows.

      Times of stress can certainly cause you to sleep less. Other symptoms of bipolar disorder such as anxiety and depression can lead to stress at work and at home so we find ourselves in somewhat of a self destructive cycle. I appreciate you sharing your experience in finding relief with prescription drugs. They get a bad wrap and people like to talk about prescription drug addiction, but we often throw the baby out with the bathwater. They serve a purpose and if we follow the directions, they will serve their purpose.

      Reply
  • September 5, 2016 at 12:32 am
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    You wouldn’t believe how weird my sleep has been because of my bipolar disorder. I’ve been smoke free about four years and four months and I’ve still struggled with sleep. As long as iv’e had bipolar i never really could sleep well. Thanks for posting this helpful information!

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