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How do I get sleep while suffering from a decreased need for sleep?

Posted by civey

I was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar I disorder about 10 years ago. Since then, I have been on every medication on the market. The last was Symbyax 12/50. About 3 months ago I realized my personality was no longer that which I remembered and I did not like who I had become on these drugs. I chose to quit taking them and learn to manage on my own. I am doing GREAT! I have introduced a rigorous exercise routine atleast twice a day and I try to stay busy. I feel like myself again. I have not had any mood swing or depressive episodes since the cessation of my meds. I use the power of self control. The only problem I am having is the decreased need for sleep. I am still functioning fine and I don't feel lke I need the sleep, but logic states that I do. I have about 2 hours of "waking" sleep in the morning and then I am off. Full of energy and ready to go. Do you have any suggestions on how to obtain this sleep or recommendations on what to do next?
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If you are on a bi-polar high, the truth of the matter is you probably wonn't get the sleep you need.  You body will get exhausted  but your mind wonn't calm down enough to let you sleep. Do not,  let me repeat, Do not take more than the prescribed amount of sleeping meds than it says on the bottle.  This will only make the problem worse.  I am a rapid cycler and when this high is over [I know you are miserable right now] you will sleep. 


I am a rapid cycler too. I have a book called "Why am I still depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder" by James R. Phelps. He talks about the importance of our body clocks and using routine and consistency with meal times and bed times to help curb rapid cycling. He talks about using Dark Therapy which is simply gradually decreasing light levels and having only very low lights before going to bed at the same time each night. I have tried this and it has helped my rapid cycling (Dr Phelps notes it takes about 3 weeks before you can see a difference). But more importantly, it IMMEDIATELY helped me fall asleep. Each night I do it I fall asleep much easier than when I don't do it. Here is a link to the doctor's website with more info about Dark Therapy:

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