Sleep is important for everyone’s health, and is especially critical for those with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder has been linked to disruptions in circadian rhythms, and many people notice a connection between sleep and their mood.
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Thankfully I normally get to sleep very quickly. However, about a month ago it took me a VERY long time to get to sleep. I had a bunch of ideas swirling in my head and my mind kept firing off new ones. They were exciting ideas about a variety of things: a fundraising hike for the International Bipolar Foundation that friends and I are planning, trips that I intend to take later this year, events that I would like to go to locally in the next few months, and social get-togethers that I’d love to do with friends in the near future. Bottom line is it was all good stuff...
Yoga and ayurveda (Life Science) are relevant when it comes to managing mood, daily, annual and lifelong rhythms. As a Yoga Therapist, I apply these sciences to my life and assist clients to create an artful way of life that supports individual well-being.
One of the main things to remember about insomnia is not to sweat it when you can't fall to sleep. Anxiety over the clock ticking makes it worse.
Recently I went to a private ward to be admitted just so I could sleep well for a few days. The irony was that it happened just a week after I had come back to Singapore to be with family – I had done that precisely so that I could have more stability in my housing situation and better sleep.
Self-management techniques are things you can do on your own at home to help manage bipolar symptoms, in addition to therapy and/or medication. The following tools and activities were beneficial to our volunteers.
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care – gimme some!
I've always loved the very sound of the famous Shakespearean line from Macbeth:
"Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care."
Although I have a degree in English literature and I read Macbeth, that was over twenty years ago, so I've forgotten most of the play, but not that line. "No Fear Shakespeare.com" and "italki.com" explained the full meaning of the words very well:
I hate everything about mornings. Especially the waking up part. Also not a fan of birds chirping. Or sunshine. I’m not sure why I’m this way. I just tend to perk up at night, say around 7 p.m. That’s when I usually get a burst of energy and the desire to do something. I don’t know if this is part of the disorder, if anyone else feels this way? Or if I’m just nocturnal?
Insomnia….oh that blasted, dreaded word but there you have it what’s keeping others, like me, awake at night. So what is insomnia, what does it mean exactly? In layman’s terms…. You can’t sleep. More officially it means….the difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, associated with impairments of daytime functioning. Although it can occur at any age it is especially common in the elderly. Most of the time it is a side effect of one of several different sleep, medical or psychiatric disorders.
I was the first of my friends to decide to start a family. I was only 22, and most people in my social circle were a long way from settling down, let alone having a baby. They tried to be supportive during the pregnancy and in the early days of parenthood, but I could tell they didn’t really get why caring for my newborn son left me so exhausted and preoccupied. Sure, they knew that babies wake up in the night, and you have to get up and do something to sort them out, but I was at home with the baby 24/7, right? What did I do all day?