Friday, November 23, 2007

Bipolar Disorder and Sleep

In the last post I mentioned how, in a hypomanic state, someone with bipolar disorder can feel energized and not want to sleep, but lack of sleep can trigger mania.

Reduced sleep isn't merely a symptom of mania, getting too little sleep can actually precipitate manic and hypomanic episodes. Research has revealed that up to 65 percent of bipolar patients who had a manic episode had experienced a disruption in their sleep routine prior to the episode.

Even Just a Small Change In Sleep Routine Can Be a Problem
And it doesn't have to be a dramatic change in your bedtime routine. Manic episodes can result from something as simple as staying up extra late to watch a little more TV to more serious disruptions to your routine brought about by some kind of dramatic, life-changing event.

Stop the Insomnia-Mania Cycle From Escalating
Once a sleep-deprived person swings toward mania, he or she may then feel even less need for sleep. This mania-insomnia cycle can then continue to make the mania worse. So definitely speak to your psychiatrist or psychologist if you find yourself starting to keep late hours and feeling the manic chaotic energy begin to build.

Moodie Moment
Once when I was in a hypomanic-insomniac state, I painted the entire basement in a night. May sound productive, but my mania escalated and I became very dysfunctional, with racing thoughts, jitters, pressured speech (talking FAST) and severe irritability. It wasn't fun.

So next time you find yourself, at 1 a.m., trying to choose between painting the basement or going to bed...catch some Zs!

This blog is for informational purposes only, it is not intended to be used for the treatment of mental illness. If you are having emotional troubles, please see a mental health professional .

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