For three out of every four people with bipolar, it is said, sleep troubles are the most common warning sign that mania is on its way.
We might not even miss the need for some decent shut-eye time. And that’s the problem. Sleep disruptions aren’t only a symptom of mania—research shows they can actually trigger manic, hypomanic and depressive episodes, as well as lead to insomnia, irregular sleep-wake schedules and other sleep disorders.
So, like dominoes, we feel the adverse impact on our quality of life, on our emotional and cognitive functioning, and on our overall health.
According to Harvard Medical School, chronic sleep problems affect between 50 and 80 percent of patients in a typical psychiatric practice, compared with 10 to 18 percent of adults in the general U.S. population.
“If left untreated, sleep disturbances start gaining momentum and can make the illness worse,” says Ronald R. Fieve, MD, author of Bipolar Breakthrough: The Essential Guide to Going Beyond Moodswings to Harness Your Highs, Escape the Cycles of Recurrent Depression, and Thrive with Bipolar II. “The sleep disturbance alone can prevent the overall effectiveness in [managing] mood.”
Aside from the usual healthy sleep habits—establishing a bedtime routine, winding down before hitting the sheets, practicing relaxation techniques—consider some of the current treatment approaches that target sleep issues. They include interpersonal and social rhythm therapy and cognitive behavior therapy administered individually or in a group.
By paying attention to her specific sleep patterns, Laura Fisher has been able to better recognize potential shifts in her mood.
“Having some sense of control, in what often feels like such an overwhelming and helpless disorder,” she says, “has led to greater feelings of empowerment in my life as well.” Read more >>
May 17, 201, Leipzig, Germany—Our attitudes can be influenced not only by what we actually experience but also by what we imagine.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Harvard University examined this phenomenon in a study published in the journal Nature Communications. They want to better understand the human ability to experience hypothetical events through imagination and how we learn from imagined events much in the same way as from actual experiences. This mechanism can potentially augment future-oriented decisions and also help avoiding risks.
“I wonder how this mechanism influences people who tend to dwell on negative thoughts about their future, such as people who suffer from depression,” says first author Roland Benoit. Read more >>
Chronic inflammation has been linked to bipolar disorder and depression; here are some overlooked causes of inflammation that we all need to be aware of:
1. The foods we eat. Functional practitioners have determined the Standard American Diet to be inflammatory and nutrient imbalanced. One of the biggest culprits; however, is sugar, specifically in the form of sucrose and fructose, which spikes insulin and triggers the release of inflammatory cytokines.
2. What’s in your gut. Our immune system is largely housed in our gut, so the link between gut health and inflammation is profound. Your diet affects your gut bacteria, for the better or for the worse, depending on the food. Diets that incorporate high levels of inflammatory refined omega 6, like vegetable oils can adversely affect your gut flora and promote inflammation and weight gain. Read more >>
Our attitudes can be influenced not only by what we actually experience but also by what we imagine. May 17, 201, Leipzig, Germany—Sometimes in life there are special places that seem to stand out to us — a school playground, perhaps an old church, or that inconspicuous street corner where you were kissed for the...
Without restorative sleep, life is tough for anyone. Managing sleep is the absolute number-one priority in the ongoing maintenance of bipolar disorder. Most of us find stability in the predictable patterns of our daily lives. We begin our work, our studies, or our household tasks according to a routine: the children want breakfast, the dog...
Regardless of pain tolerance, chronic physical pain greatly affects all aspects of an individuals life: sleep, relationships, diet, and mood. I have been struggling with intermittent chronic hip and back pain since 2016. I tore and re-tore my hip labrum, had femoral-acetabular impingement and ligament damage in my right hip. It required two surgeries, and...
As difficult as getting a good night’s sleep is for most people, those who have bipolar disorder know all too well the significant health costs of poor sleep. So James B. Maas, PhD, a leading sleep researcher, shares his golden rules for getting good sleep. #1 Know what you need Determine your need for sleep...