Sleep and Mood

Okay, so in the middle of the night you wake up, after having had a horrifying nightmare starring your mother in law in the lead role. You open up your tent to get some fresh air, look outside in the moonlit night and, see this . . .
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Drugs, stressful situations, and even excessive noise can affect daily body rhythms and moods. An irregular living schedule can aggravate mood disorders. The old-fashioned sanitarium rest cure was effective with the “nervous” because it put the patient on a regular schedule of sleep, activity, and meals. Below are some kinds of sleep disturbances that can make mood disorder worse.

Insomnia

A person suffering from insomnia has difficulty initiating or maintaining normal sleep, which can result in non-restorative sleep and impairment of daytime functioning. Insomnia includes sleeping too little, difficulty falling asleep, awakening frequently during the night, or waking up early and being unable to get back to sleep. It is characteristic of many mental and physical disorders. Those with depression, for example, may experience overwhelming feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt, all of which can interrupt sleep. Hypomanics, on the other hand, can be so aroused that getting quality sleep is virtually impossible without medication.

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

This is the most common circadian-rhythm sleep disorder that results in insomnia and daytime sleepiness, or somnolence. A short circuit between a person’s biological clock and the 24-hour day causes this sleep disorder. It is commonly found in those with mild or major depression. In addition, certain medications used to treat bipolar disorder may disrupt the sleep-wake cycle.

REM Sleep Abnormalities

REM sleep abnormalities have been implicated by doctors in a variety of psychiatric disorders, including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, some forms of schizophrenia, and other disorders in which psychosis occurs.

Irregular Sleep-Wake Schedule

This sleep disorder is yet another problem that many with Bipolar II experience and in large part results from a lack of lifestyle scheduling. Bipolar drug abusers and/or alcoholics who stay awake all night searching for similar addicts and engaging in drug-seeking behavior, which results in sleeping the next day, usually experience the reverse sleep-wake cycle.

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