What Do You Do When You Can’t Get To Sleep?

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… 

In the excitement of it all, I forgot all about the various tools and strategies that I had used in the past when my brain simply wouldn’t shut off. 

It got later and later that night…and I didn’t notice. 

All of a sudden it was 5 am. At that point panic set in! 

It brought back memories of the last time that I had a manic episode, which was in December of 2013. At that time my brain was also full of ideas and planning different things. I slept very little for a few days, and I ended up in the psychiatric hospital.  I DID NOT want that to happen again! 

So on that sleepless night about a month ago at 5 am, I took some natural sleep aids and thankfully got to sleep pretty quickly. 

Later that same day, I thought of I’ve what I had done in the past to slow my brain down when I couldn’t get to sleep. I came up with an action plan that I will using moving forward when required.  

Scott’s get to sleep action plan:

1. Take GABA and melatonin (natural sleep aids) [Editor’s note: Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements]

2. With headphones, listen to a relaxation paraliminal audio 

3. If not asleep within 30 minutes or so take a sleeping pill 

When I was discharged from the psychiatric hospital in December 2013 after a short stay of four days, my psychiatrist gave me a prescription for a sleeping pill to be used when required. Thankfully I’ve only had to take the prescription sleeping pill four times since then. 

I’m very curious and would love to read your responses to the questions below! 

What do you do when you can’t get to sleep? 

Do you have anything similar to my “get to sleep action plan”? 

Read more of Scott’s blog posts for IBPF here or visit his personal blog

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