Definitions: Sleep

Since Sleep has been an issue for me lately, today’s “definition” series in Bipolar Disorder is on Sleep. 

Sleep is critical in Bipolar Disorder. A lack of a regular sleep schedule can send a person into a manic episode (see Definitions: Mania). 

Francis Frank Mondimore, in his book Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Familes says this about sleep:

“…sleep deprivation can precipitate mania. This is a very well-documented finding…even one night of sleep deprivation can precipitate mania.”

“It has been proposed that lack of sleep for any reason may be what tips the balance for many bipolar patients and brings on an episode of mania.”

This has certainly been the case for me. I do not do well at all if I do not get enough sleep. 

This past January, my Sleep was initially disrupted by a dose of steroids I received during a minor surgical procedure. That single dose made it hard for me to rest for a couple of days. That was all it took to send me into a kind of mania that was decidedly unpleasant.

I started averaging 2-4 hours of sleep per night, which only made the mania worse. It wasn’t until I got regular sleep that I started to improve. The improvements came quickly (within a matter of just a few days) with sleep after several months of feeling like I was losing my mind. 

When I first was rediagnosed in my late 20’s, it was very difficult for me to accept that I was going to have to adjust to a very structured schedule when it came to sleep. I felt like I was suddenly aged 60 years. Now I keep very regular hours because it helps to keep my mood level.

I hope that this was informational. That is the goal with this series. The booki citied is a great resource for anyone living with Bipolar Disorder. The author is a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins. It’s worth a read.

Image from Pixabay.


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