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Sleep Hygiene

 

Insomnia is a common complaint of the bipolar disorder. While manic we can go days without sleep. 

Practicing good sleep hygiene is important and will assist us in keeping our circadian rhythm on a normal cycle.

Try the following:

  1. Do not nap during the day, even if you are way behind on your sleep.

  2. Go to sleep at the same time nightly and wake up at the same time every morning. Do this even if you have had little sleep.

  3. Don't use your bed for anything but sleep and sex. Don't watch tv on your bed. Don't sew there, read, eat, etc. on your bed.

  4. If you wake up during the night and can't go back to sleep or just cannot sleep, GET UP out of bed and do something like playing a game, watching TV, etc. Don't just lay there in bed. That will make your insomnia worse.

  5. Get some exercise during the day.

  6. Drink warm milk. The tryptophan in it is good in promoting relaxation.

  7. Take a hot shower or bath.

  8. Don't drink alcohol to assist to sleep. It blocks REM sleep.

  9. Avoid caffeine after noon or altogether.

  10. Avoid guilt and emotional reactions about not sleeping as much as you can. Keep yourself calm.

  11. Make your environment soothing. Lights low. Sounds low. Candles. Soft music.

  12. Turn off your brain to worrying or any disturbing thoughts. If you are having difficulty "turning off your brain," write down your thoughts and leave your worries or concerns on paper.

by Patty Fleener M.S.W.


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