Sleep. Is there any middle ground?


You are all pretty aware of the sleep issues one has with bipolar disorder. We either get too much or not nearly enough. Much like our moods, there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. I myself have been on every sleeping pill under the sun. Currently I am on Sonata. It seems to be working for the most part, however I go through “blips” where it doesn’t help, even when taking a double dose (as prescribed!). My issue right now is that I only seem to get 5 hours minimum, 8 hours maximum of sleep. Which is just about the right amount of sleep for an individual. The problem is, I go to bed between 8 – 10 p.m., depending on the day, which depends on my mood and/or my body. As you know, I also suffer from fibromyalgia. Coincidentally, there are also sleep issues with that. So some days it is my fibromyalgia that causes me to be sleepy and not my bipolar disorder. One would think the easy way to remedy my situation is to go to bed later. Well, one would think!

But, I digress. I want this post to be about bipolar and sleep. Like I said, I have been on several sleep meds since my diagnosis. Lunesta, Remeron, Amitriptyline, Rozerem, Ambien, Restoril, and Trazadone. The main problem I have had is that they work for about 6 months, and then they lose their efficacy. Except for the Ambien, that stuff NEVER worked for me. Sometimes my pdoc would increase my Seroquel when I was on it. The same problem occurred, it would knock my ass out, but I would be up in a couple of hours. I have been told to take antihistamines before bed. Nope, they just make me grouchy. I have tried tart cherry juice, which worked for a bit. Melatonin (only the melt-aways or chewables worked for me). Drinks with melatonin, such as Marley’s Mellow Tea (I had to drink two of those, which by the way, is against the recommendation). I have tried no caffeine past a certain hour, no sugar, no tv (which I CAN NOT DO!), keeping my room at a cool temperature, and everything else that the holistic places tell you to. My mom suggested a stiff drink before bed, but you are not supposed to drink with meds!

So, my question is, IS there a happy medium? IS there something I haven’t tried?

I posed this question to my family doctor, and she said maybe I need a sleep study. Maybe I have sleep apnea. Well, maybe I do. But my main concern is NOT BEING ABLE TO FALL ASLEEP!

Physicians have asked me why this is? Do I have too much on my mind? No. I am Just. Not. Tired. It is like I have A.D.H.D. or something. I have NEVER been able to fall asleep once my head hits the pillow. I was always the last one to be asleep at a slumber party. When I was younger I was able to function on 4 hours of sleep.

If anything, all of this is quite annoying.


3 thoughts on “Sleep. Is there any middle ground?”

  1. Same problem over here!! I either sleep for 11 hours or 5! I can never get a solid 7-8. Even this morning, I went to bed at 11 and woke up at 4! Wide awake without coffee or anything! I was on Seroquel but it was knocking me out for like 16 hours so now I’m on Saphris which is great bc it puts me to sleep, but I’m still having trouble finding a happy medium.

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