8 Things NOT to Do When Symptoms Keep You Awake
By bp Magazine
When you live with bipolar disorder, getting adequate sleep is vital. Sleep restores and rejuvenates the brain and body with effects on alertness, mood, cognition, body weight and overall good health. But when things like medications or moods disrupt your sleep, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
#1 DON’T Panic
does not mix well with sleep. If you start to worry or even panic about
your inability to sleep, it will surely make it more difficult. In
fact, the harder you work at convincing yourself to fall asleep, the
longer it can take. Instead try to clear your mind and meditate,
focusing your attention on your breath.
#2 DON’T Think Too Much
Your mind and your body work in unison to help you fall asleep. So,
if your mind is too busy to calm down, it will be difficult to get your
needed slumber. You can help the process along by trying to calm your thoughts and focus on relaxing your entire body, starting with your toes and working toward your head.
#3 DON’T Try to Sleep if Too Alert
If you are too wide awake to fall asleep, you would be better off
getting out of bed and doing something else that is relaxing instead of
trying to force yourself asleep
with poor results. This will only cause anxiety. Go into another dark
room and watch television or read a book to tire your mind.
#4 DON’T Drink Caffeine
(which is found not only in coffee but other beverages and snacks) is a
stimulant and can cause anxiety, rapid heartbeat, and sleep
disturbances. Studies have shown it may be best to avoid it for six
hours before bedtime. If you enjoy capping off dinner with a coffee, opt
for a decaffeinated brew instead.
#5 DON’T Surf the Net
Avoid getting out of bed to surf the Internet.
Mindlessly clicking away can turn into hours if you happen upon some
interesting stories or get wrapped up in social media links. Also,
studies have shown the blue light from computer screens can impede your
shuteye instead of getting sleepy and will most likely stimulate your
#7 DON’T Choose the Wrong TV Program or Book
If you’re going to watch television or read a book, choosing a
program that is a real cliffhanger or a real-life docudrama will
increase your heart rate and, in turn, your sleeplessness.
The same goes for book choices—an exciting, page-turner will keep you
awake. Instead, watch or read something without strong emotional
#8 DON’T Do Housework or Chores
While your head is swimming with a long to-do list, now is not the
time to clean your house. Although unfinished chores may be on your
mind, doing anything physical will tense your muscles rather than relax
them. To be alert enough to do chores you have to stay awake, defeating
the purpose of getting a good night’s sleep.
#9 DON’T Exercise
While you may think that physical exercise will wear you out and make you sleep-ready, the opposite is generally true. Any physical activity like this will overstimulate your mind and body. You’d be better off scheduling a time a few hours prior to bedtime for your workout to give your body time to wind down.