If you do some research concerning the relationship between sleep and mood states in bipolar disorder you’ll find that sleep deprivation usually results in an individual slipping into mania. If this is not the case then it is at least a tell tale sign that someone is becoming manic. But what about using sleep deprivation in order to benefit someone with bipolar disorder? One study suggests that there’s a link between bipolar depression, the treatment thereof, and sleep deprivation.
Simply Sleep Less if You are Depressed?
The study referenced above found that out of 206 individuals in the depressive phase of bipolar disorder treated with sleep deprivation there was a 4.85% switch into mania and a 5.83% switch into hypomania. These findings are interesting to say the least. What if you could treat your bipolar depression simply by sleeping less? It’s something that comes to mind when looking at this relationship between sleep deprivation and shifts in mood states.
It’s long been known that sleeping too much is a symptom of depression, it could even be a cause. Whatever the true link between sleeping too much and bipolar depression is, there is a definite link and this is important to note especially if you are someone who is in a depressive phase. Now, you don’t want to become manic by sleeping less but fine tuning your sleep hygiene should be something to consider if you want a relatively easy way to treat your depression.
There is no easy way to cope with bipolar depression but sleeping less is definitely easier than trying out a slew of different medication combinations. Sleep plays a huge role in anybody’s health and well being so it’s safe to assume that someone with bipolar depression is going to be greatly affected by the way they sleep. I know this from experience, talking with psychiatrists, and reading about other bipolar perspectives.
What’s Your Sleep Hygiene Like?
There’s no revelation here, only more information to add to the collective pool of ways to manage and treat your bipolar depression. You know how difficult it is to treat, I know how difficult it is, and anybody else with this mental illness knows. So, why not take a harder look at the way you sleep if it could make you feel better?
I’m not going to sit here and say that my sleep hygiene is perfect. It is far from perfect. Getting my sleep schedule down to a normalized pattern is something I need to work on. What I am saying is that from personal experience and talking to psychiatrists, that your sleep schedule and circadian rhythm is extremely relevant concerning your moods.
What do you do with this information? How does the sleep deprivation study help us individuals with bipolar disorder? In order to make the most out of this potential insight I think it’s a must that we identify our sleeping patterns and relay this to our doctors for further insight. Some things to identify concerning your sleep hygiene may include:
- Finding out when you normally go to bed
- Finding out when you normally awake
- Mark down how you feel after X amount of hours of sleep
- Note any major shifts in your sleep pattern that correlate to events going on in your life
It’s pretty basic stuff but as always getting around to doing it is a lot different than saying you’ll do it. We’re all guilty, I know I am, and as people who have bipolar disorder it’s always annoying to have to keep track of yet another behavioral metric.
In conclusion, this may not be relevant at all to your bipolar depression but for some it could make all the difference. The point here is to make those suffering from depression aware of the fact that tracking their sleeping schedule, talking to their doctor about it, and then making changes could be a potential way to further treat bipolar depression.
Thanks for reading and hopefully you could gain some insight regarding your sleep and bipolar depression. Be sure to comment if you have any experience regarding your sleep and changes in your mood. It’s always interesting to hear about real life experiences.