The Dr who diagnosed me as Bipolar advised me to ‘guard [my] sleep’ and this is the best advice I’ve been given for managing my illness. I’ve mentioned this before and one of you (can’t quite believe people are reading my ramblings, but there you go) asked for more information.
When my mood starts rising I have trouble sleeping through the night. I get up earlier and earlier, am busy during the day and go to bed exhausted and early. And then I get up even earlier the next day. Sometimes I get up at cock-crow only to end up back in bed by mid-morning. The exhaustion fuels the rise in mood (this seems counterintuitive, I know). Eventually I give in and sleep for a whole day only to wake back in the pit of depression and having to fight my way out. The intense effort of this can start the cycle again.
Guarding my sleep means avoiding late nights – I take my meds at 9pm and try to be asleep by 10pm. It means not getting up in the middle of the night to do anything other than pee. It means getting up at about 6am and getting on with the day, even if I’m tired, and not napping or sleeping the clock round.
At the moment, my sleep-cycle is disturbed. Various circumstances have contributed to this and it has made me sicker than I’ve been for over a decade. I want to avoid sleeping tablets so I’m trying really hard to get back on track. And it’s hard. It’s harder than hard. But I’m stubborn – I’ll get there in the end 🙂