Natasha posted this a couple weeks back. I thought it was very well written with lots of helpful tips! As she says, no matter what your experiences are with mental health, sleep is crucial, and quality sleep is essential.
Many of my friends benefit from the sunrise simulator alarm clock (I have yet to invest in one myself), decreasing blue light before sleep (I’m a faithful user of f.lux as well), taking medications that have sedating side effects at night, and using as needed medications when necessary are all great suggestions. While I don’t have a diffuser, I also enjoy relaxing scents such as the Saje Unwind face and body mist, or other essential oils (rosemary, lavender etc.).
I know that for me, lack of quality sleep not only makes me a less efficient worker and more easily cranky, it can contribute to symptom flare-ups. One sleepless night can cause breakthrough symptoms of audible thoughts for me, two sleepless nights can induce visual hallucinations. As well, bad sleep can lead to un-refreshed mornings, poorer emotion regulation and distress tolerance abilities, which can lead to increased self-harm urges if stressful situations or triggers arise.
On the other hand, my medication causes me to have intermittent sleep through the night, and I end up spending 10-11 hours in bed every day, not including naps. This is unfortunate since it results in me only having limited waking hours in which I am functioning and able to work and do school. So it is important for me to try keep to a regular sleep-wake routine, and minimize naps in order to optimize my sleep during the night. I have to be careful not to oversleep either, otherwise my mind and body will be even more groggy than usual, and it will ultimately mess up my day.
In addition to Natasha’s pointers, I also use body scans, or guided meditation for sleep/grounding/relaxation (the app I use is Stop, Breathe, Think). Some nights I listen to gentle instrumental music and read a nice non-arousing book.
It’s not easy to stick to a good sleep regime, sometimes it feels like I miss out on fun parties and other activities that young people my age partake in. However, I know the negative consequences of disrupting my sleep, therefore, I am notoriously cautious about my sleep hygiene.
Read Natasha’s full post below.
Sleep is important for everyone, no matter your mental health experiences. It’s especially important for people who have bipolar. It’s somewhat common knowledge for us folk who do have it that getting an average, healthy night’s sleep is stabilizing. When some people don’t sleep enough (or at all), this can be a sign of an upcoming/existing…