The Importance of Sleep When Dealing With Bipolar Disorder

Share Button


Putting the Reins on Your Active Brain

By Melvin G. McInnis, MD

How important is sleep, really, if my brain seems to be telling me I don’t need it?

Sleep is critical for a healthy balance in the brain and emotions. It gives people a rest from the fast-paced lifestyle we now have become accustomed to as well as allowing the body to maintain its natural chemical levels. There are so many ways that people can have a great night’s sleep from a comfortable mattress from places like Current best mattress Australia to having a nice tidy room to improve unconscious relaxation. However, the reality of sleeping can be quite different for someone with bipolar disorder. As many people living with bipolar know all too well, the sense of a lack of need for sleep is often the first sign of a manic or hypomanic episode. When your brain is telling you that you don’t need sleep, there is something wrong, or about to go wrong-and potentially in a dangerous way. Most individuals with bipolar have learned that a manic or hypomanic episode can be devastating for one’s personal, social, and work life. Recognizing dramatic changes in the urge to sleep (whether too little or too much) can help prevent the onset of full-blown episodes.

How can I “repair” my disrupted sleep to make things more regular and help improve my symptoms?

Strategies for repairing disrupted sleep depend on the severity of disturbance. Anyone who is totally unable to sleep should seek medical help immediately, either from your usual healthcare provider or from emergency services. Be sure to discuss all sleep disturbances with your regular provider to develop short- and long-term strategies to manage them. You can also ask your provider if you can change your current bedding to something you might feel easy with like say, winstons beds. Upon them agreeing or not agreeing (based on your symptoms) you can proceed with simple changes first.

However, emerging sleep difficulties could indicate that the illness is not properly managed and that medications are not at optimal doses. Your care provider may want to check levels of meds or increase doses and evaluate the results of the changes. If the medications are at the maximum dose, or the side effects of the medications are at the maximum level of tolerance, the clinician will review and discuss additional options. If your care provider has tried a number of options without success, it can be helpful to seek a consultation with a different provider.

If your health (beyond the lack of sleep) isn’t the issue, then it may be worth checking to see if it could be another factor. Many people are increasingly believing that EMF radiation from electronics like their phones could be the cause of sleep disruption. Indeed, many people have taken to buying detectors from brands such as EMF Protection UK to help them identify these sources and shut them down at night to allow for better sleep. Whilst some physicians may disagree about if this is making an actual impact, it can be worth trying before seeking medical advice.

Not all sleep difficulties require medical changes or specific interventions. There are a number of self-care strategies to manage sleep and energy. Although sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can be incredibly difficult for someone with bipolar, the importance of a regular routine is tantamount. Ensuring that bedtimes, waking times, and the evening meal follow a regular schedule will help tremendously.

For those with bipolar, often the challenge is dealing with the amount of energy that can escalate in the late evening. The urgency for tasks-anything from a term paper to housecleaning-becomes compelling, and before you know it, it is 3 a.m. Developing a successful winding-down routine in the evening to prepare for sleep is necessary. A calming activity, such as an hour of reading or playing a mundane board game, can be very helpful. Taking evening medication, from prescribed medicines to alternative options like these CBD edibles UK, at a planned time in consultation with your care provider (usually an hour or two before the agreed bedtime) is also key. A calm, steady routine is so very helpful when dealing with an illness that has the potential to cause life-threatening instability.

Better sleep and a healthy routine help your energy level over time and contribute significantly to maintaining wellness and preventing episodes of mania and depression. Engaging a family member or friend in your routine and sharing your plans for stability with your care provider will add additional links in the wellness chain.


If you or a loved one is struggling with Bipolar Disorder and would like help, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

Silent Suffering: Video About Suicide

Share Button

Take a look at this recent video Silent Suffering featured by the Columbus Dispatch on the topic of depression and suicide.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, and/or is wrestling with thoughts of suicide, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

If you or a loved one is actively thinking about acting on thoughts of suicide, please immediately contact one of the support networks on CornerStone Family Services’ Support Page.

5 Myths About Mental Illness

Share Button

5 Myths About Mental Illness


It is common to hear about a loved one, friend, family member or coworker being treated by a mental health professional, yet many still feel shame about having a mental illness and blame themselves. This cycle of blame does nothing to help the emotional imbalance that is fueling their illness. There are still a lot of misconceptions and myths around mental illness, even though they have been disproved.

Here are some common myths about mental illness and the real truths behind them:


1. Myth: Psychiatric treatment is for weak people, and talk therapy is whining. You just have to get over it!

Truth: This is still one of the most popular myths, by far. Many people continue to feel that psychiatric treatment is not required for many problems. Treatment for psychiatric disorders is just as necessary as it is for other medical disorders, such as diabetes or heart disease. There are a wide range of therapy options that can be best determined by a mental health professional. In some cases, medication is required, while in others, therapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy, has been shown to be very effective. It is not a sign of weakness to seek help. It is a sign of courage to recognize a problem and try to find a solution. Just as you would not feel bad about going to the doctor if you had an infection, you should never feel bad about seeking help for mental health issues.

2. Myth: You will not achieve your full potential when you have a mental illness such as bipolar disorder or depression.

Truth: From historical times to the present many of the most successful people have had bipolar disorder or depression. Names like Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, Beethoven, Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey would hardly be seen as underachievers, yet they have all dealt with mental illness at some point in their lives. The reality is that reaching your full potential and being successful is very possible even if you are diagnosed with a mental health issue � provided you seek help, whether that be professionally or at home. To begin with, many will search into at home self help methods, such as starting new hobbies to distract the mind, or even trying out certain products like cannabis, which also comes in many forms so its best to do proper research first, for example finding out more on hash vs wax to see which would be the better consumption depending on your needs and lifestyle. These are just a couple of coping mechanisms that one could use, but no matter what, know that you can succeed in life whether you suffer from a mental illness, like depression, or not.

3. Myth: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is just a poor substitute for discipline and an excuse for bad behavior.

Truth: ADHD is a psychiatric illness with a well-described constellation of symptoms and proven treatments. ADHD is commonly thought of as a childhood disorder and often attributed to a lack of discipline. ADHD can affect people of all ages and can bring about a lack of focus and impulsivity that can cause the afflicted person to suffer. They or their families should recognize the signs of ADHD and seek treatment. This is especially true with children. Treatment helps a child excel in school and adjust in social settings.

4. Myth: All patients with schizophrenia are dangerous.

Truth: Only a very small percentage of schizophrenics are dangerous when left untreated. Schizophrenia is a very serious psychotic disorder, but patients who have it should not necessarily be feared or institutionalized. There are treatment options for schizophrenia, and many with the disorder can lead productive lives with the right treatment.

5. Myth: Suicide is not a problem in the U.S.

Truth: Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2007. Suicide is the most regrettable outcome for far too many people who have found their mental health issues to be too much to bear. It is often preceded for a long time with warning signs. It is so important to seek treatment if you feel like you have too much to cope with. Immediately seek professional help if you or a loved one has suicidal thoughts.

As more people learn about how the brain works, and how it affects our overall health, there will be much less stigma around seeking professional help for mental health issues. It is important to recognize psychological and psychiatric disorders as being just as necessary to treat as any other medical condition. If you, your friends or loved ones are experiencing any mental health issues, seek treatment. There is help available and treatment can help you lead a higher quality and happier life. It’s time for us to move away from the myths and move closer to the solutions.