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Unread 03-30-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
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do you guys have trouble sleeping? I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping and the less sleep I get the more depressed I get and the more anxiety I have about not sleeping. It's an endless cycle. Was on a couple sleeping pills that didn't work for me that I've since stopped using. Not sure what I'm supposed to do.
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Unread 03-30-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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Hi unhappycamper,

My sleep seems to change from month to month.
One month i cant sleep at all, and have real problems with it, and other months i sleep a LOT,like way too much.

if you are on any ADs, that can alter your sleep patterns too
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Unread 03-30-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: sleep

yes, i have this same cycle. nothing works on me - herbs or sleeping pills. i haven't found a solution. i hope you do. i always hear that depression makes some people sleep a lot and am wishing it were the case for me!
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Unread 03-30-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: sleep

Yes, UnhappyCamper463, sometimes I think everyone does. Spring and Fall are particularly difficult for some who react to changes in the seasons. Circadium rhythms are all part of nature, and we're all in it together!

For me, Clonazeman (Klonopin) at .5 mg when necessary, helps. So does a medically prescribed antihistamine called Zyxal (a concentrated form of Zyrtec. I think bipolar patients tend to build histamine in their systems until reactions occur. In fact, many psychotropic medications have in them an ingredient which is anti-histaminic.

A lot of it has to do with the acidic residue that meds leave which our kidneys must metabolize. When we're taking them every 24 hours, it sometimes becomes a drain on the kidneys to try to handle it all for us, and we will build too much acid in the tissues and fluids. Stress is notorious for building acid in fluids and tissues so try to reduce that in your life. (Yes, I know; it may be the hardest thing of all to do.)

When that happens, it's time to do the "lemon thing", in my view. That is, cut two lemons in half, squeeze them into about 8 oz of water; drink it. If your feeling tone isn't more relaxed and calm within 4 hours, repeat the process. That ought to do it for you. Some of us use it occasionally when we feel "uptight" or below par in feeling tone. It might work for you. I hope so.

5HTP Tryptophan has been shown to be helpful as a sleep aid. Regular Tryptophan won't work because it can't cross the blood-brain barrier, but 5htp does have the capacity to cross that barrier and might be helpful. If you're taking SSRI's, try to avoid tryptophan in any form unless you're really have a difficult time of it getting to sleep. Rarely, I may use it even though I take a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI).

Additionally, bipolar folks are often very sensitive to light. The pineal gland in the brain responds to light by decreasing its output of melatonin (the natural sleep inducer created by the brain's pineal gland). Try wearing sun glasses particularly in the afternoon, and use glasses that dim the light of TV at night. In fact, I'd recommend turning off the TV and hour or two earlier to give the pineal gland a headstart on manufacturing melatonin for you. (You can purchase melatonin in specialty health food stores, but it's good for only 3 months, according to my psychiatrist.)

Try having your largest meal at lunch and eating salads for dinner. Vegetables and fruits are much more easily digested than meats, and going to bed with a lighter load on the digestive system may ease problems with sleeping.

You know, I'm sure, that keeping a regular sleep schedule is very important in bipolar illness. I think that's why my psychiatrist recommended cutting out caffeine for those sensitive to it and stopping the use of alcohol, both of which make bipolar illness worse, according to her.

Take care and feel better.
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Unread 03-30-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: sleep

Originally Posted by gracez View Post
yes, i have this same cycle. nothing works on me - herbs or sleeping pills. i haven't found a solution. i hope you do. i always hear that depression makes some people sleep a lot and am wishing it were the case for me!

I hear that a lot- people wishing they could sleep the 12 -13 hours.

Not a solution as this long sleep is non-restorative, for me it means going to bed and waking up more tired then when I went to bed.

Medications changes the your sleep, often the cause of non-refreshing sleep.

I am now starting to need only 9-10 hours, with few naps, and this is from a medication change.
So some nights are long and others I am not sleeping through the night, or waking up every hour or so, and still waking up tired. So instead of waking up once in the morning to a nightmare, I get to wake up after every nightmare.
sometime I do not want to go to bed:
Again bad dreams are related to antidepressants.

I am hoping that as I recover from depression that my sleep will balance out. That I can find a level of medication that has less side effects.

Like unhappycamper463 sleeping pills do not work.
Getting up and warm milk seems to help.

I did do a sleep study and eliminated any sleep pathology- sleep apnea etc, and that is where I learned the medications I were on were part of the sleep concerns as well as typical of depression.

All this talk about sleep I think I could use a nap.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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I sleep to much if I had a choice I'll sleep the whole day. Although I do not think it has to do entirely with my depression. I have asthma and low iron in my blood. I find that exercise gives me more energy.
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