Tentative Plan to Address Sleep Disruption

Today is “Therapy Tuesday” where I visit with my therapist every week. Today’s topic was on the sleep issue and disordered thinking I posted about late last night.

The general consensus in that conversation is the muddled thinking is a result of poor sleep rather than anything else.

Like this morning I woke up feeling tired. What got me out of bed was the sense of accountability I have around getting my boys ready for school, having today’s appointment, and then later tonight I need to go to Little Bear’s student led conference.

A part of me didn’t feel like going to therapy today, but I often hear that the most important time to go to therapy is exactly when you don’t feel like going.

So in the process of discussing the sleep issue and how I felt like my brain was functioning yesterday, I ended up discussing the writing process for me and how it paralleled my state of mind.

Basically, my brain isn’t broken. I need better sleep before I do hit that breaking point.

My med clinic appointment is this coming Monday. Honestly for me, out of everything that I have tried thus far, the Topamax has been the most helpful in getting that sleep. In the meantime – and for future breakthrough symptoms – my therapist suggested giving melatonin a try since it’s what our bodies use to regulate the circadian rhythm.

I feel more comfortable with giving that a go than I do about meds developed specifically for sleep. I sit firmly in the camp of addressing the causes of symptoms whenever possible rather than masking symptoms.

If the melatonin doesn’t work, then I can switch to a low dose of Benadryl as a sleep onset aide. I really have no desire to take anything that will keep me asleep given the type of child Little Bear is. Usually, once I do finally fall asleep I sleep like the dead. As in that child can walk on my body and not wake me up. My parents have teased me about this my entire life.

It’s just right now I’m feeling like I’m not getting enough sleep. Every one has a quota that needs to be met, and if you’re waking up tired it means that you have a deficit there.

That’s where I’m at right now.

And this is what makes hypomania and mania frustrating. Your brain doesn’t recognize the need for sleep, but the toll for all that brain activity raises the quota anyway.

In terms of the spoon theory, you’re now using spoons that don’t exist. It then becomes easy to fall into the red and not notice it until interest is due. Now your credit is maxed, but your brain is still trying to use that card to buy spoons with nothing available to make up the difference. At some point, your body will demand that it will all be paid in full. Your body does not have waivers or payment plans available. You can’t file for bankruptcy or loan forgiveness either. One way or another, your body collects when the time is up.

More often than not when I hit that collection wall, physical illness is part of the package. I don’t want to be sick. I don’t want to be shutdown for an extended period of time.

So yes, today I feel clearer in the head than I did yesterday but I still feel tired physically. It means I’m still operating in the red. I’m thinking about skipping the melatonin and running with the Benadryl since I should be back on the Topamax next week.

5 thoughts on “Tentative Plan to Address Sleep Disruption

  1. I needed to read this today. Actually, I’ll probably have to read it again when more clear-headed. ha! But, Yes, I’m suffering the lack of sleep from hypomania right now and brain is slowing down, I can tell. Frustrating. But I might just inquire about melatonin at my next appointment if this keeps up. Hopefully it will settle enough though, and I’ll avoid the crash before then.

    • I hear you! It’s hard because it feels like not only are you watching a train wreck and can’t look away, but you’re in said train and the brakes aren’t working. Hang in there, we’ll see it through. I’m going to try a couple of things – not just the melatonin and Benadryl. At least I think I have melatonin in the house already. If not, it’ll be just the Benadryl. But behaviorally, there are other things we can do to promote sleep. The biggest being to unplug from our screens 1-2 hours before bedtime.

      • yes, unplugging…but I swear I’ve tried that! well, I’ll keep at it. It’s probably the screen time all the rest of the day, or just the fact that one bad night’s sleep can just throw it all off again. *sigh

      • I will be the first to admit that I have a hard time unplugging and honestly I haven’t noticed much difference in my ability to fall asleep when I do. However, the statistical numbers in research points at how much the light from all those screens trick the brain into being awake. So that’s where that advice comes from. And I hear you on how one bad night is all it takes. That’s so true for me and two of my sons. It sucks.

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