This Bipolar Life: Counting Sheep

Insomnia is a bugger and for folks like me can be destabilizing. A good sleep routine is important for bipolar balance. I know this. Apparently my body does not. Instead it wants to keep me up with a whirly ball bouncing around in my head chattering on about anything and everything that has happened in the past 40 years. I swear, once the blankets hit me my mind tends to recall every little failure or thing that needs tending to. When I say everything I mean it. I think of the laundry, the bank account, the kids’ activities, countless little things I forgot to do, and even the morning coffee and whether or not I set it to run. It’s a bit ridiculous.

That said, there are tons of studies that indicate a consistent sleep schedule is important to the successful maintenance of the sometimes delicate balance of bipolar. That doesn’t mean I follow them. I try, I really do, but it’s hard to actually get my butt into bed at a decent hour. I know I’m not alone. How? Because I belong to a bunch of bipolar groups online and the sheer volume of people posting in the wee hours of the night/morning are enormous. Sleep is elusive for many of us.

Unfortunately some of the key tips are difficult for me to keep up on: cut caffeine, no screens, turn the lights down, and a bunch of other things I have a hard time adhering to. I love my coffee, stay up later than I should and usually most of the lights are on until the later hours as I have kids at home and a ton of stress (like most of us). Being able to pull any of these off in time for bed is difficult to say the least! Seriously, have you ever tried to pull three teens off of screens by 9pm? Or turned the lights down on them? It’s a huge challenge!

So, how does one go about setting a good sleep schedule? Well I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice so here are a few articles that can help:

Why Is Sleep So Important? (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)

Sleep for Bipolar Disorder (HealthLine)

Sleep and mental health (Harvard Medical School)

As you can see from just these articles good sleep is a key ingredient in a successful bipolar care plan. If you’re like me it’ll be a bit of a struggle but it’s important so give it a shot. Who knows? You might be able to pull it off!

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