Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bipolar Disorder and Sleep - What is the Connection?

The human brainImage via Wikipedia

For as long as I can remember I have been up before dawn, or very soon there after. If I am going to get something done it better be before noon or it’s not happening. It’s how my body works, how my brain functions and I have become use to it.

An article on emax health shows a study that was presented on Bipolar Disorder that states “abnormalities in the genes that control our biological clock contribute to the development of Bipolar Disorder.”

Doctors and countless studies will tell us that maintaining a regular sleep pattern is best for maintaining best overall health – this is for every person. For those with bipolar disorder, however, establishing such a routine is more challenging, due to a “delicate internal clock.” A simple change in when you go to sleep, staying up an extra hour to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, or stress from family can trigger a manic episode. Once the mania begins, it simply feeds upon itself since you no longer feel like sleeping or slowing down.

I will be the first one to admit that my being a morning person is what sets me apart from others and all to often I receive comments how “I am crazy” “why don’t I sleep?” “How can the day be half over at noon?” I usually just laugh and say that’s just the way I am.

This type of sleep pattern for me is one thing that can actually keep my bipolar disorder in check, or under control. The quiet of the morning offers me the opportunity to enjoy the quiet, to prepare for the day before I am overwhelmed by the demands that are about to be put on me. Without those precious minutes or hours my day does not go well.

I know what I need to stay stable, it is a challenge some days, but I try. Sleep pattern is vital.

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