HAWMC Day 14 - I Need Sleep (and so do you)

April 14, 2015

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~ An Irish Proverb

 Today's topic is what makes me feel my best and it is hands down getting enough restful sleep.  A doctor once told me that sleep is just as important as medication for bipolar disorder.  I talked with a friend about it yesterday and we think it's more important than medication and that that applies to everybody.  Unfortunately, I got to find out just how important it is by suffering with insomnia for about three weeks.

Sleep deprivation absolutely makes one crazy.

 By the end of the three weeks, I had absolutely no energy and was severely depressed.  I came home from a workshop yesterday and just cried and cried from exhaustion and the realization that I was not happy at all.  It was a terrible feeling because I knew that as soon as I got enough sleep that I would be back to my old self, but how to get it?  I felt desperate in a way that I have not felt in a while.  I took a chance that it might be my new medication and so I tried not taking it last night and lo and behold, I slept well for the first time in weeks!  I let myself sleep in until noon today and I feel so wonderful.  I have energy and motivation and feel like myself.  I am so glad too because one more day and I may have had a crisis.

All of this is to say, do not take getting enough rest for granted.  A schedule that makes you unable to get enough sleep could be your undoing.  Setting boundaries and protecting your sleep is not being nerdy, it is being smart.  What kind of medication works for us or whether it even works at all is totally out of our control but getting enough sleep is.  I have learned in recovery to do what I can that is in my control so that the other factors do not affect me as much.

I leave you with this prayer:

May sleep envelop you as a bed sheet floating gently down, tickling your skin and removing every worry. Reminding you to consider only this moment. ~ Jed Dickerson

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