Not “normal” sleep

I don’t really remember, but I believe that back in 2010 as I was initially coming to terms with my diagnosis my sleep schedule was relatively “normal.”  Also, as I recall, and indicated such already, my mood stabilizer medication sort of forced me to find 8 hours to sleep at night comfortably.  But, as is the case with most things, change eventually came.

Starting this post near 1 am Sunday night/Monday morning makes this a perfect post topic.  I am attempting to stick to a regular blog posting schedule of 3 times a week on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.  But literally, no one would know that yet, including the 2 other people that supposedly read this blog.  Also, it doesn’t seem true, as my posts will come in with the following day’s date on them, as this one will.

That is the introduction to my current sleep schedule that has been with me for longer than I can remember off the top of my head.  It bothers me to think of having started the next day/date until I have actually gone to sleep, which I have not done “tonight” yet and is common for me.

So what ends up happening is essentially insomnia (or equivalent) on the front end, but then aided by medication hypersomnia (or equivalent) on the back end.  So, unlike a “normal” person who may get into bed say between 9-10 pm and wake 8 hours (or even more) later, this is very much not the case for me.

It can be very common for me to stay up until at least 4-4:30 am, then try to fall asleep and not truly “wake up” to do anything outside of bed until sometimes into the afternoon.  Now, I am talking about this here and indicating it as a factor of mental health.  But, truth be told, it is not as though I had never deviated my sleep patterns prior to diagnosis in 2010.  It is also not uncommon for that to have occurred.

For one, I went away for college and experienced there more than before a true “all nighter” as well as the weirdness associated with sleeping until a day had passed into the next day.  Oddly enough, there was a very brief time in my life when this would-be “ability” was most helpful to me and my family.  Those who know me might guess at that one already, and those that don’t can wait until I open up more publicly.  There was also another time significantly later, after the diagnosis and medication when I acted more nocturnally and thought it would benefit me and those around me but it ultimately did not.

So almost 450 words in maybe we can get to a point?  Probably not, but let’s try.  Although it is certainly not the case for everyone ever diagnosed bipolar it is reported as fairly common for this nocturnal activity to happen.  Although, many times it coincides with manic periods, lack of medication or self-medicating and other unhealthy behaviors.  At least according to mental health professionals.  Look, my goal with this practically invisible blog is not to rail against the advice of mental health professionals.  Although, I have already done that to some degree and would definitely do so if they were mostly in favor of Asylums, which I have discussed prior.

What I am indicating is that my experience is that sleep patterns can be “tricky” not only during the times I have discussed.  Without getting into too much detail, in the past 9-12 months, I have typically tried to eventually fall asleep later and then stayed asleep later.  I have experienced very little mania, if any, or other factors that I already mentioned.

So, while this – not “normal” sleep pattern is likely not constructive for a bipolar person trying to keep regular work hours, perhaps those who don’t could benefit?  Say, a person trying to hold down the jobs mentioned by the narrator regarding Tyler Durden in “Fight Club.”

Actually, no, scratch that.  I don’t think I should advocate bipolar people get work as a projectionist in a movie theater so they can splice in single frames of penises into family films.  Well, maybe it wouldn’t matter if I suggested it anyway as I’m not sure that is a real job during any part of the day and outside of that movie I’m unaware of parents taking little girls to see “family films” after midnight.  In fact, except for special events, I’m not really sure of any films shown in theaters after midnight, at least where I live.

Back on point, our sleep is rarely ever “normal” and we deal with it and have to hope that anyone in and around our lives can deal with it too.  In the less obvious cases where we are trying to maintain standard sleep, we are doing so against our instincts, chemistry and usually desires.  So while such circumstances are probably a bit scary as we can be wound too tight and snap in that case… If you have a partner doing this, seemingly successfully, no matter where they fall on the spectrum, give them a little credit for doing so.

It seems almost no one would rather go to sleep than stay up and do literally whatever, and that has been the case since many of us were kids.  But for some reason, this is so much a part of the “deal” of being bipolar that we are actually bothered if we need to go to sleep instead of whatever else, even when it should be reasonable.  So it might seem strange if I am recommending that a husband or wife expresses their gratitude and appreciation to their partner for doing what is expected of children, just because that person is bipolar.  But, “it is what it is” and I am actually suggesting just that.  Just try not to do it in a way that is worse than “kid gloves” and comes across like you’re printing out their blog that no one reads to put on the refrigerator as if something has been accomplished that you clearly really feel like is not even worth mentioning.

=)  — Cheers!  …and, eventually, good night!

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