Are you even kidding me? How is this even remotely acceptable?
It’s not acceptable in any way, on any context, at any time. I wish the names hadn’t been blacked out so I could look that asshat up on Facebook and give him a piece of my mind. Report him for abuse. Sick wild dogs on him after tying raw meat to his extremities. This person is a sick person with a dark soul, there’s no cure for that except by public humiliation, maiming, and water-boarding. 😡
What is the best sleep advice anyone has given you? Also, what works for you when sleep is difficult at night with all the thoughts running wild?
Oh Anon I’m so sorry you’re dealing with sleep issues, they’re the worst! I’ve gone through periods of insomnia, for anxiety reasons, and it’s just so awful. I won’t lie, anxiety medication helped a lot with my being able to calm down enough to sleep. But I’ve been unmedicated for a while now, and what I’ve found is that I need noise to sleep. My mother is actually the same way, she needs something nonrhythmic in the background while she’s falling asleep or her mind races. Anyways, here are the best tips I have to help fall asleep. Of course somethings I say here might not apply to you or to others. I’m going to leave out medication, because I feel like that’s a given and I know it’s not available to all people.
Having a routine is usually a good idea for those with mood disorders, and is especially relevant to getting a good nights sleep. You don’t have to have a routine for the entire day, if you’re like me and work a shift job, it can be really hard to develop an all the time schedule to stick to, but you can come up with something soothing to follow for around the hour leading up to bed time. Some things to consider: warm showers, warm drinks, pleasant scents, meditation, slow music, light workouts or reading a chapter of a light novel. The goal is to stay away from anything overly stimulating.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever read is to try to sleep in fifteen minute intervals. If after fifteen minutes you’re not asleep, get up, try a relaxation method for a bit and then try to sleep again. Another tip I hear often is to not use your bed or bedroom, if possible, for nothing besides sleep. Don’t use your bedroom as a living room or an office, just sleep and other bed central activities, of course that’s not always an option for many younger people, or anyone without their own home.
Staying away from electronics will also help, it seems like a no brainer, but I’ve had quite a few friends complain to me about sleep issues only to realize that they are mindlessly surfing Instagram or reading Buzzfeed or various other activities we do during our downtime during the day, that we forget it’s a distraction and a simulator. I’ve found that plugging my phone in at night and away from my bed helps a lot with not responding to late night texts or checking facebook one last time.
When I’m having an especially rough night sleeping, I use Pandora’s Sounds of the Rain forest station and use of the sleep timer Pandora offers. There are relaxation teas out there that can help, but you must be very careful with these as the side effects can be or become rather serious. Sometimes there are underlying issues that cause insomnia, such as stress or anxiety. Figuring out a way to let the days worries roll off your shoulders before sleep is sure to help.
Learning to sleep through stress, anxiety or mania takes time. It does require a mindful effort. I have a personal rule that I can only complain about work for thirty minutes after getting home, after that I’m no longer aloud to think about work related stress. If stress or anxiety is the issue, allow yourself some time to think about these things, don’t try to push them to the back of your mind. If you allow yourself to think of potential solutions, you’ll feel like you’re making progress and hopefully this will allow these problems to not interfere with sleep.
If it’s anxiety, talking to someone can really help. When you’re feeling anxious, it’s not always easy to look at things from a realistic stand point. I used to have issues sleeping because i was anxious that if someone broke into the house while I was sleeping and stole our stuff or injured one of us or basically anything bad happened, it would be my fault because I should have been awake to stop it. Completely unrealistic right? Didn’t matter, it was an issue I dealt with for years and it led to many other issues that further prevented me from sleeping. What helped was having someone reassure me that it was OK for me to sleep, and repeatedly remind me of other realities. Having someone who will listen to your concerns, no matter how odd seeming, and do their best to calm you, will help in so many aspects of life. If you don’t have anyone in your close circle, try online chat forums! There’s a web group for every issue out there, filled with people who totally understand.
Whoa this got way longer than I meant. Ok moving on, if mania is the problem, it’s going to take a lot of work learning to sleep, a lot of trail and error and, to be honest, probably some medication. Breathing techniques will help, meditation will help, you’re probably going to want to start with dealing with the physicality of not being able to sleep while manic, such as the constant need to be up and then move on to calming your mind. Coloring helps a lot of people. Focusing helps me a lot. Focus on your breathing, count sheep (or as I prefer; count alpacas wearing rainbow tutus jumping over a gardening fence), think pleasant thoughts, wow I’m really bad at this Anon, I’m sorry.
What else can I add? Stay away for caffeine after a certain time of day or alcohol. Stay away from your cellphone, action movies, rock music, or running marathons an hour before bed time. It’s really so much … practice. You have to learn what works for you, what relaxes you. There’s so many options out there. I read in an article “like an alcoholic has to actively pursue sobriety, while manic I have to actively pursue sleep.” You have to make a good nights sleep a priority and be willing to really work at it.
TLDR: google sleeping / relaxation techiques and practice, practice, practice.
I compiled some personal tactics and crowd sourced DIY remedies for the sads (clinical term) into a mini comic! Enjoy xoxo