Please remember that this site is not meant to be a substitute for professional help. If you have a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder, or you think you might, please seek professional help in person!
Once you have begun working with a therapist or doctor, this site can be added support.
When working to manage mood, particularly bipolar disorder, routine matters a lot. It helps to create a routine that allows you to go to bed around the same time and get up around the same time. In previous blogs I have talked about the importance of sleeping 7-9 hours per night. Feel free to read that blog, now, for a discussion of why it is important to sleep about 8 hours per night.
Part of getting a good night’s sleep, is working on your evening routine. It is helpful to get enough darkness, so be sure to read the blog on dark therapy and bipolar disorder. It is also important, during high energy periods, to develop a calm evening routine. This means visiting with only family or perhaps one friend. When one is struggling with high energy, ie on the manicy end of the spectrum, there is a lot of stimulation inside the body. With all that inner stimulation, the body cannot tolerate a lot of stimulation out of the body. So, it is important to minimize numbers of people, lights, sounds, and stabilize with comfortable temperatures. It is important to do calming activities, like meditation, hot baths or showers, listen to calm music, and do calm hobbies. Calm hobbies might include handwork, journaling, or reading, activities which can be done sitting down.
If you ever wake up in the middle of the night, or before achieving the ideal number of sleep hours, it is very important to do calm activities which may enable you to return to sleep within an hour or so. I highly recommend looking at the blog on dark therapy if this is an issue for you. Then I recommend trying meditation. If meditation doesn’t work within twenty to thirty minutes, it is a good idea to leave the bed, and choose soothing activities for thirty to sixty minutes before returning to the bed for another round of meditation.
It is also really important to keep televisions and other screen devices out of your bedroom along with anything that has light. Research has shown that having nightlights or light entering through a window can interfere with anyone’s sleep. So a good set of black out curtains is also a very good idea.
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