Why Sleep is a Crucial Part of Stability in Bipolar Disorder

by Marie Miguel

Sleep is an integral part of mental health and wellbeing. It’s hard enough being an adult in this chaotic world. When you’re not sleeping enough, you can suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. It’s difficult to function if you don’t have a regular sleep schedule. When you live with bipolar disorder, sleeping can be a challenge.

In a manic state, people with bipolar may not sleep for days or could get a couple of hours of sleep a night for several days in a row. However, despite how good a person feels during mania without rest, it’s not good for their health. The reality is that sleep hygiene and routine are extremely important when you’re living with bipolar disorder. Here are some ways that sleep impacts the brain and how you can manage your mood disorder. 

Make a sleep routine

One thing that can help is to have a daily sleep routine, regardless of your mental health condition. But, it’s particularly helpful for a person with bipolar disorder to have the structure of a sleep schedule. You don’t magically fall asleep. It’s important to prepare your mind and body for a good night’s rest. A couple of hours before going to sleep, stop looking at screens. Take a bath or meditate. These are relaxing activities that will prepare your mind and body for sleep. You might call a friend and have a light-hearted conversation. You could read a book to relax. Maybe after you take a bath, you can lay down and have some tea or hot chocolate. Sleeping at the same time each night can help when you have bipolar disorder.

Stick to a schedule 

It’s crucial to stick to your schedule. Sometimes you may not feel like sleeping. But, it’s crucial to remind yourself that if you don’t sleep, you could become hypomanic or go into a full-blown manic state. Remember that you need to stick to a sleep schedule. It might seem boring to go to bed at the same time each night, but if you don’t sleep, it could result in dangerous consequences for your mental health. Remind yourself why you’re staying with a schedule. It’s for your overall wellbeing and to mitigate the damage of a manic episode. 

Avoid staying up late

It’s tempting to stay up late because you feel like you’re missing out on things. However, you can pack a lot into the daytime if you stick to a routine. You’re not missing out by sleeping. You’re taking care of yourself. Remember that staying up late seems fun, but you can face dangerous mental health consequences. Once in a while, it’s okay to go out with your friends for a late-night or attend a special event, but don’t make it a habit because it could lead to dangerous consequences, such as a manic episode.

Know the signs of mania

When it comes to mania, it’s important to know the signs that a manic episode is approaching. You could feel an elevated or euphoric mood. You might not want to sleep or think that sleeping is a “waste of time.” You could sleep for limited periods. If you notice that you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Your medication may need to be adjusted. You can also discuss herbs that can help you get a good night’s rest. Check-in with your mental health provider if you see the warning signs of mania so they can guide you through this challenging time. 

Mania and sleep

If you don’t sleep, you could bring on a manic episode. A person can make impulsive decisions during mania that they regret later. That’s why it’s crucial to do everything you can to stick to a sleep schedule. That way, the symptoms of mania may not be as intense. You don’t want to put yourself or others in dangerous situations. If you don’t sleep, manic episodes can get quite bad. Mania can result in hyper-sexuality, risky sexual behavior, reckless driving, substance abuse, gambling, over-spending, or suicidal ideation. It’s critical to manage your sleep routine when you’re bipolar. You can’t prevent mania, but you can mitigate the symptoms. 

Talk to a therapist about sleep and bipolar disorder

You can talk to a mental health professional about sleep issues and bipolar disorder. It can be extremely helpful to develop a sleep routine with your therapist. You can also find ways to take care of your wellness. You don’t have to manage bipolar disorder on your own.

Therapists specialize in the treatment of the condition. They also know how challenging sleep issues are when it comes to bipolar. The more honest you are about your symptoms, the better treatment you’ll receive. It’s okay to admit that you’re suffering from insomnia. A therapist isn’t going to judge you. They want to help you feel better. Don’t be afraid to connect with a mental health provider so you can live a happy life.


About the writer:

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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