Every part of our life is connected; one aspect will always impact the others. With regards to sleep, this couldn't be more true. If you sleep well, you can bet other areas of your life will start to improve.
When dealing with a mental health issue like bipolar type 1, this is particularly the case. The quality of your sleep has a direct result on how you're able to manage your disorder. A rough night's sleep can mean a breakdown, manic episode, or worse.
Sleep and Your Mood
Even people in pristine mental health can get cranky after a night or two of terrible sleep. This is normal. If you suffer from bipolar 1 disorder, the relationship between your sleep and your mood tends to be even more pronounced. The disorder magnifies everything.
Your mood is often correlated with your sleep when you're bipolar because of mania and hypomania. Mania is the extremely excitable and almost happy mood you may occasionally suffer from. Hypomania is more like depression. Between these episodes or moods, sufferers of bipolar type 1 find more calm or normal times.
These three phases cause sleep habits to get out of line. For example:
• Before Mania: You may start sleeping less. Most sufferers begin to lose sleep before a manic episode begins. Some have concluded this is the reason for the incident, but further research is needed.
• During the Manic Episode: Most individuals sleep little during an episode. Even with little or no sleep, people with bipolar 1 disorder describe not feeling tired at all during a manic episode. Many speculate this is due to the odd REM sleep that accompanies mania.
• During the Calm: Even during periods of normal life, you may still struggle with unusual sleep patterns if you're bipolar. Sleeping too little or too much can be a constant problem.
• During Depression: Like others suffering from depression, it's common to sleep way too much or become an insomniac during a hypomanic episode.
Pay Attention to Your Body
If you're suffering from bipolar type 1, the best thing you can do is listen to your body. Understand you're susceptible to extreme mood swings that can be affected by how you sleep. Make sleep a priority!
If you're struggling, look for solutions. Medications can help make sleeping easier while suffering before or after an episode. Therapy can also be utilized to help you find the perfect schedule that offers the best possible sleep, too.
The best thing you can do when managing your mental health is to follow a consistent sleep schedule. By keeping your body on a regular schedule, you'll continually feel in rhythm. This allows the chemicals in your brain to stay on a somewhat even keel.