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Overcoming Sleep Problems When You’re Bipolar!

A core symptom of bipolar disorder is sleep problems. The emotional state you’re in determines which sleep problem occurs.

If you’re manic or hypomanic you may feel like you need less sleep. Overtime you may develop insomnia.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and also to remain asleep long enough to feel rested.

Manic episodes can cause you to experience symptoms such as:

  • Elevated Mood
  • Inflated Self-Esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Increase In Goal-Driven Activity
  • Trouble Focusing

All these symptoms can contribute to insomnia. Sometimes mania can cause you to stay awake for more than 24 hours or only sleep 3 hours a night.

Insomnia not only leads to worsening anxiety, daytime fatigue and trouble concentrating, it’s also an indicator of a coming depressive episode.

Insomnia Makes Depression Worse

If you don’t get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep it can take a toll on your mental health. It can heavily influence your outlook on life, energy level, motivation and emotions.

If you have bipolar disorder insomnia brought on by mania can lead to depressive episodes that make you feel so low that you won’t want to get out of bed and end up sleeping too much.

How To Manage Mania So You Can Sleep Better?

The key to managing bipolar mania is to practice good sleep hygiene.

Good Sleep Hygiene Tips Include:

  • Create a Schedule: It’s important to have a regular sleep schedule. Establish a regular time to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. Having a regular sleep schedule is one of the easiest ways to practice good sleep hygiene.
  • Optimize Your Bedroom: Try to make your bedroom as comfortable as possible. This includes having a bed that’s right for you along with a pillow that’s right for you. It’s also important if you eliminate light, noise and other distractions.
  • Limit Other Activities: Make sure your bedroom is for sleeping only. Try to limit activities such as watching TV, texting on your smart phone or working on your laptop in your bedroom. It’s interesting to note that electronics emit blue light trick your brain that the sun is still out and this makes it hard to fall asleep.
  • Adjust Your Diet And Exercise: There are many things you should avoid before bed including alcohol and coffee as well as a big meal. Also, you should keep a few hours between exercise and bed. Exercise can make it easier to sleep, but it can also energize you as well.
  • Take Time To Relax: It’s important to read to take time to relax before bedtime. Try reading a book or try meditating before turning off the lights. If you want to learn more about meditation please click on the button below:

Have You Ever Had Trouble Falling Asleep or Staying Asleep?

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If you’re feeling stuck in life, have limiting beliefs about yourself or negative thinking is holding you back please click on the button below and download my ebook:

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/insomnia-symptoms-and-causes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3321357/

https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/sleep

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Keeping Mind and Body Healthy: Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety (Part.2)

I mentioned in Part.1 how the COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for everyone, particularly those who have issues with anxiety and anxiety disorders. I’ve been living with chronic anxiety long before this crisis started, but I’ve learned how to manage it in a holistic way. I’ll be sharing with you how I’ve been coping with COVID-19 anxiety.

I don’t have the luxury of working from home and I’m an essential worker, so it’s important for me to stay healthy and take a proactive approach toward my health by not only protecting my physical health, but my mental health as well.

I mentioned in my previous post about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can have an effect on our overall health. How you cope with anxiety is very important.

Ways of Coping Include:

Attempt To Maintain a Routine: This pandemic has thrown my normal routine off and it’s difficult to stay focused. I’ve been using block scheduling to maintain a routine for not only work, but also for exercising and for writing this blog.

Focusing on Breathing: Just simple breathing works its magic on anxiety. Taking deep breaths while meditating calms your brain down while you’re focusing on the present moment.

Exercise: An excellent way to maintain a good mind-body connection is to get moving and exercise. Since the gym is closed and I don’t want to risk getting bit by ticks by walking in the woods, so I’ve been taking time after work to take long walks while social distancing.

Watching What I Eat: I mentioned in a post about how there’s a negative connection between processed foods and mental health, and that it’s really important to watch what you eat.

Recommended Foods To Reduce Anxiety Include:

  • Turmeric
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Almonds
  • Blueberries
  • Turkey Meat

Food To Avoid include:

  • Fried Foods
  • Artificial and Refined Sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Soda
  • Foods High in Sodium

Getting Enough Sleep: Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep is important, pandemic or no pandemic, because when you don’t sleep well you not only have worsening anxiety, but also a weakened immune system.

Putting Limits On How Much Media I Consume: The 24/7 news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic will take a toll on my mental health and at the same time I need to stay informed about what’s happening, so it’s beneficial to limit how much news media I consume.

Limit alcohol consumption: In the short term having a drink or two is relaxing, however overtime excessive drinking can interfere with the chemicals in your brain that regulate mental health and cause worsening anxiety, depression and stress becomes harder to handle.

Connect with Friends Remotely: One of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic has been lockdowns and social distancing. Once a week I like to get together with friends to go hiking; I get my exercise and I socialize. However, due to social distancing I haven’t been able to go, so I connect with friends remotely through texting, social media and phone calls.

This is a tough regiment to live by to keep chronic anxiety under control and this challenging time we’re living in is making it even tougher.

How Are You Coping With This Tough Time?

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If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the button below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-cope-with-coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-psychologist-2020-2#use-the-time-to-reach-out-to-loved-ones-and-reconnect-with-old-friends-10

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/mental-health/alcohol-and-mental-health/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-reduce-anxiety#section7