Bipolar Disorder and Sleep: How to Improve Your Sleep After Treatment

Some people believe that sleep is overrated; however, that is the furthest thing from the truth, especially after treatment. Getting a solid and sound sleep encourages continual healing long after you leave treatment. Your brain requires sleep to maintain a healthy and functioning flow. If you want to continue healing on your recovery journey, learning how to sleep better is crucial. It can improve your memory, your physical function, and your overall health status.

Do People With Bipolar Disorders Suffer From Sleep Disturbances?

Disrupted sleep can affect the overall quality of life. Those that suffer from co-occurring bipolar disorder and substance use disorder are more at risk for relapse when sleep is interrupted. A lack of sleep can cause disturbances in cognitive functioning and physical health. Sleep is a critical component to improving health outcomes. It helps control the way you think, act, and react.

When you live with both bipolar disorder and addiction, you may suffer from insomnia or hypersomnia. During moments of depression or mania, sleep can be disrupted, leading towards a mix of different episodes and symptoms due to the chemical imbalance. Many studies indicate sleep disturbances happen often in individuals who suffer from bipolar disorders. The studies researched individuals who had a sleeping disorder, individuals with bipolar disorder, and individuals without disorders.

The result showed that those with bipolar disorders have more disturbances in sleep than others who did not struggle with the disorder. The study showed that fluctuations in sleeping patterns were characteristics of bipolar disorders. If you have bipolar disorder, learning how to sleep better is essential to improving your cognitive and physiological state. 

How You Can Sleep Better

There are many different ways to help you sleep. Some activities and elements can help encourage healthy sleeping habits, even if you often feel your mind racing right before you turn off the lights.

First, begin with a schedule. You need to set up a time to go to sleep every day, even on the weekends. Try to get a full eight hours of sleep, but if you don't reach that right away, that's okay. Many individuals who stick to their sleeping schedule find they can go to sleep within 20 to 30 minutes. If you find it difficult to drift off to the dream world within that time, pick up a book and start reading or get up and do something relaxing to make yourself more tired. You can repeat this as often as you need, as your body will start to recognize a new sleep and wake cycle. 

Second, it’s important to watch your nutrition. In treatment, you learned how to implement healthy nutritional habits. As a child, you were taught that large meals right before bed were a bad idea, and it turns out that it can also affect your sleep. Consider your eating habits on a day-to-day basis. You don’t want to have a lot of caffeine, nicotine, or heavy foods during your day, as they can impede your sleeping habits. 

Routines Can Help You Succeed

Many successful people in the world adopt similar sleeping habit routines. By following and implementing similar sleeping habits to these successful people, you can maintain healthier sleep and life. Some of the sleeping habits successful people use include: 

  • Turning off all technology
  • Taking a nap of up to 20 minutes in the early part of the day
  • Waking up earlier
  • Covering up the clock when you lay down
  • Using a leg pillow to straighten out your spine
  • Limiting caffeine in foods and drinks
  • Avoiding working out before going to bed
  • Exercising early in the morning
  • Drinking caffeine-free tea before going to bed
  • Lowering the lights 2 to 3 hours before bedtime

Establish a Relaxing Environment

Establish a relaxing environment and make sure you implement physical activity on a day-to-day basis. The more active you are in your physical being, the more that your brain will want to sleep when it’s time to go to bed. Physical activity will naturally push chemicals throughout your body that encourage rest at some point or another. If you have an environment that is soothing to you, the chemicals have a chance to calm down your body and will allow you to fall asleep faster. 

If you still struggle with implementing sleeping habits, you can always find support to help you identify any additional underlying causes of sleep deprivation. After you've left treatment, sleep is crucial. Identifying the sources of your disturbed sleeping patterns can help you remain successful in the long path of recovery.

To continue healing after treatment, making sure you have quality sleep is a must. At NorthStar Transitions, we understand the importance of sleep. We want everyone who goes through treatment to learn how to sleep better so they can successfully continue their healing and recovery. NorthStar Transitions implements holistic treatment modalities to encourage healthy sleeping habits. If you struggle with implementing sleeping habits on your own, or if you know someone who struggles with both bipolar disorder and addiction, reach out to NorthStar Transitions today and let us help you. We believe in creating a calming atmosphere with a touch of compassion and guidance to help you learn how to sleep more soundly and continue healing after treatment. If you or someone you love struggles with a substance use disorder and are looking for more information on treatment in Boulder, NorthStar Transitions is here for you. Call us at (303) 558-6400.

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