Sleep is so important to the bipolar mind. I expect that quite a few of you will post comments telling me that you relate. There is some strange connection between getting the right amount of sleep and mania, or even just plain moodiness, for me. Maybe my body feels that lack of sleep is the same as stress, after all, isn’t it putting stress on me physically and mentally?
I thought of this as today’s topic because last night, because of the before mentioned chronic stomach aches, I was up from 4-8ish A.M. And I am trying not to be crabby, really I am not, but I feel charged for aggravation today. On the way to brunch I chalked my swinging mood (one minute I am making up songs about my shoes, the next I was giving my boyfriend the death stare from the passenger seat) to the fact that I was hungry. I am well-known for my pissy moods when I am hungry. After I had eaten brunch, I was still vacillating from humor to “I’m gonna kill you.” Now that it is late afternoon, I am realizing that it is this hiccup in my sleep pattern that has my moods all jacked up.
Sleep is paramount to my mental stability. It is often a lack of sleep that brings on mania for me. (Don’t worry, I am not turning manic today). In fact, when I am in a manic phase I will sleep on average 2 hours a night and not feel tired. I don’t need the sleep. Mania’s got all the energy I need.
At every psychiatry appointment my psychiatrist asks me how I am sleeping and for how many hours. He wants to make sure that I am getting enough sleep. He wants to check and see if my sleep pattern indicates an upcoming mood disturbance. He also wants to be sure I am not sleeping too much – a signal of depression in my case.
So be mindful of your sleep. Don’t push yourself so hard that you don’t get adequate number of hours of sleep per night. Take naps if you need and can. Try to stick to a schedule that works for you.
As for me, I think I will hit the hay a little bit early for a Saturday night and hopefully tomorrow I will feel a little more stable.
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