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Looking after ourselves

Senior Contributor

resting at night with bipolar

Hi all. Hope you are keeping well! I have a working diagnosis of bipolar and I really struggle to sleep often, it’s problematic. Does anyone have any tips on how to *rest*. If I can’t sleep I find its better that I rest than not at night. I am, brain malfunctions aside, not a naturally sedentary or restful person, I am chilled out, I am not a worrier but I am a doer and a thinker and a woman of action. I am bad at meditation, always have been, and meditation tracks etc., I find the right music and also a track of someone snoring can help, or colouring in, but it’s still hard for me to rest well for long often. Any tips of things I can do, how I can spend my time (and any that lead to sleep!!) would be much appreciated. Thanks and Kind Regards, Jenn @eth

11 REPLIES 11
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Re: resting at night with bipolar

@Jenn4  I struggle with no sleep, racing thoughts, trouble with meds etc.  There are a few of us doing crafts, it might be help, it might not. I will tag you there, but no need to respond if you are uncomfortable there. 

I paint stones. It’s relaxing for me and my brain.

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Re: resting at night with bipolar

Hi @Jenn4  found you!  You might already know I have bipolar 1 also.  And share the difficulty sleeping with you.  Most nights it takes me 5 or 6 shorter naps in order to get 8 or 9 hours total of sleep.  These days tho' I am awake for less time and get back to sleep easier.  A combination of following 'sleep hygeine' guidelines  https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/cci/mental%20health%20professionals/sleep/sleep%20-%20infor...  and a cocktail of meds that includes one that reduces adrenalin response so I don't get anywhere near as many PTSD nightmares and what I call 'jump starts' where I'm already standing up and ready to move fast before I even realise I'm awake.  When I had a sleep study done the specialist told me that even just lying in the dark with eyes shut is almost as good for us as actual sleeping.  Plus my psychiatrist told me a 'sleep cycle' is considered to be 1 1/2 hours now (which I get 2 or 3 times a night) so I don't get as anxious about it as I did when I thought a cycle was 3 hours which I never get.

So.... part of the secret to dealing with it is finding quiet ways of passing the time when awake at night.  Especially if you live with others and don't want to disturb them.  This seems to be exactly what you are asking about.  Some of the things I do are have a warm drink without caffeine (I have warm milk or cocoa but herbal teas are good too), writing, colouring in and zentangles (google them), researching new recipes and even cooking them if I can do it quietly, reading, learning to play bridge, crochet (any kind of art/craft is good), collaging, reading medicine woman cards (a version of tarot) ... these days I usually go back to bed in less than half an hour.   You might want to research mindfulness rather than meditation.  And there are many breathing exercises you can do when lying in the dark.  https://www.healthline.com/health/breathing-exercises-for-anxiety     

Things I try not to do are blue-screen activities including computer and phone.  Never between 10pm and 6am.

I've raved enough!!! Take care @Jenn4 

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Re: resting at night with bipolar

Hi @Jenn4 ,

Nice to 'meet you'.  I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 about 18 months ago ro so.  I had a breakdown and manic episode.  In my mid 40's now.  I don't struggle with sleep too often, but, at times I do.  Even before bipolar entered my life I did struggle at times.  For me I find exercising very important, try to eat as good as you can and maybe look at taking some multivitamins.  

 

I think Maggie has pointed you to the craft thread.  I've recently taking up diamond painting that I find very helpful.  I like to stay busy and its a good way to relax and pass the time.  It's like paint by number but with 'drills' or beads.  

 

You mentioned meditation tracks weren't good.  Do yiou mean ones with guided meditation or the ones with soothing sounds?  There are some fairly good apps you can get on your phone with the latter.  I have used them occasionally.

 

Hope to see you round on the forums, take care Smiley Happy

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Re: resting at night with bipolar

Hi Jenn4

I find that writing poems helps me. The time you spend on writing a poem is tiring.(It may take days just to write one poem, or it could happen in an hour) Either way it affects ones emotions. Depending on what you are writing about it can also create great healing. When i write i have such great sleeps.

I have inserted one of my poems. One of the cruel symptoms of CPTSD is low self esteem and i needed to address this. Its about recognising the good and bad aspects of myself. I felt  so at peace after writing this poem. It's called The Sum of Me.

Come hither thine spirit

Bring forward thy soul

Let the sum of me

Live as a whole

It’s okay, don’t be afraid

Bring it all together

Don’t pick one piece

I want you to see it all

For the sum of me

Is worth so much more

Come forward all aspects of me

Come just as you are

No pretense shall you bring

Please also deliver the child within

Come hither thine spirit

Bring forward thy soul

Let the sum of me

Live as a whole

Fears and regrets galore

Old scars and new wounds let me see you

Anger and resentment are welcome too

I need to have all of you

Happiness and blissful memories

Love and tender qualities

You need to be at the fore

So, you can dance together for forever more

Come hither thine spirit

Bring forward thy soul

Let the sum of me

Live as a whole

Now all of you are here

The sum of me appears

What sheer beauty has been achieved

My mind and heart are so relieved

Take a look at me, everyone

I’m proud of it all

I may not be perfect

But now I stand tall

Come hither thine spirit

Bring forward thy soul

Let the sum of me

Live as a whole

The sum of me is wondrous

I can hardly believe it’s me

I consider myself a beauty

Whom I love with such intensity.

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Re: resting at night with bipolar

Hi @Jenn4 

Just wanted to let you know there was a duplicate of your same thread by accident! So we have just merged the responses you got to be in the one thread now 👍

 

Great to see you reaching out and getting some great support and responses from everyone else 💙

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Re: resting at night with bipolar

hello @Jenn4  how are you today my friend

Hello @silverspoon , @Gazza75 , @eth 

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Re: resting at night with bipolar

Sorry @Shaz51  just saw this, haven't been on in a while. Thanks for asking. When you asked I was well Smiley Happy generally I am doing alright, not tooo bad. There are certainly good times. Still haven't got it all nailed and under control but working on it. And you my friend?

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Re: resting at night with bipolar

Also @Lauz , @silverspoon , @Gazza75 , @eth , sorry I never got back to you as well, I just worked this out! Thankyou for all your suggestions and kindness, much appreciated, sorry for my late response. Shout outs to @silverspoon  for the poem! It's a great poem, and I can relate to this as well. Thankyou for sharing! Smiley Happy 

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Re: resting at night with bipolar

@Jenn4 

My husband has bipolar 11

Being very hot up here all week 

How has your weather been 

@greenpea 

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