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Sleep disorder tied to Bipolar 2? Help

M

MrMuscles

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Oregon
Hello there, I'm new to this forum and just wanted to ask some questions to gain understanding for this condition that I was diagnosed with a few years ago.

I do not medicate for my bipolar 2 and don't intend to ever medicate for this condition.

So to get right to my question, how many of you experience very limited sleep with this condition? In the middle of 2019, I suddenly began only sleeping 3-4 hours every single night. Is this a normal thing for bipolar disorder?
I understand that this disorder can cause people to require less sleep....but I seriously cannot sleep longer than 3-4 hours no matter how physically active I am the previous day.
I'm a bodybuilder and workout extremely hard most days, I lift weights for 2-4 hours a day. After an exhausting day, I simply sleep 3-4 hours and then I'm totally fine. No daytime fatigue and my cognitive abilities seem okay.

I've done some research on this and discovered a condition called "short sleep syndrome". Do you believe I may be suffering from this? Or is my limited sleep just a nasty side effect of bipolar disorder?

I have most of the classic symptoms of bipolar 2, so there is no doubt in my mind that my diagnosis is accurate. But I can't help but feel that I may also have short sleep syndrome.

Thanks for taking the time to read & respond.
 
S

SFGuy

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Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
257
Location
California
Before I was treated for bipolar 2, I existed in depressive, hypomanic, or mixed states all the time. I usually slept <8 hours a night, sometimes <4. Now that I have proper meds, including a sleeper (Baclofen), and practice good sleep hygiene, I get 9 hours/night. The normal sleep time has helped my thinking and mood.

My mood stabilizer and some other meds have created a baseline state that isn't depressed, hypo, or mixed.

I don't know what short sleep syndrome is. I do know of one man who lives with high, but not manic energy and only sleeps a few hours a night. He says he doesn't have a disorder and he should know. He's the psychiatrist who founded psycheducation.org
 
M

MrMuscles

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Oregon
Before I was treated for bipolar 2, I existed in depressive, hypomanic, or mixed states all the time. I usually slept <8 hours a night, sometimes <4. Now that I have proper meds, including a sleeper (Baclofen), and practice good sleep hygiene, I get 9 hours/night. The normal sleep time has helped my thinking and mood.

My mood stabilizer and some other meds have created a baseline state that isn't depressed, hypo, or mixed.

I don't know what short sleep syndrome is. I do know of one man who lives with high, but not manic energy and only sleeps a few hours a night. He says he doesn't have a disorder and he should know. He's the psychiatrist who founded psycheducation.org
Interesting, so severely limited sleep could very well be a symptom of bipolar and not short sleep syndrome.
It's a consistent thing for me, I don't have the option to sleep in even just a few minutes more. Once 4 hours has gone by, I'm wide awake and become incredibly uncomfortable if I continue to stay in bed.

I don't want to medicate for bipolar because I've read that 1/3 of men taking mood stabilizers experience erectile dysfunction. I don't ever want to take a pill that interferes with my sex drive or ability to have sex.

I just know that if I mention my sleep disorder to a psychiatrist, they are going to push mood disorder medication on me. They may also try to push antidepressants on me, which I cannot tolerate at all.
 
S

SFGuy

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Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
257
Location
California
I'm like you about meds. Don't mess with my libido. My mood stabilizer causes no problems, though I think it can in some people. SSRIs cause near-impotence in me. They can also exacerbate symptoms if you're on the bipolar spectrum and don't do me any good.

My doc and I have tested many meds, and I take a ton of them (I have ADHD, too). She supports me when I say no because of side effects, including sexual side effects. We resume the search for something else when that happens. I'm on a good regimen at the moment and my libido is intact.

A good psychiatrist will take the journey to finding the right meds with you and respect your limits. A bad one will write a scrip and say: take this, it's the only choice. We won't stay on meds that have intolerable side effects and docs know it.

What symptoms make you think the Bipolar 2 diagnosis is right? Have you been diagnosed by a doctor?
 
C

Comorbidity

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
344
Location
London
Hello there, I'm new to this forum and just wanted to ask some questions to gain understanding for this condition that I was diagnosed with a few years ago.

I do not medicate for my bipolar 2 and don't intend to ever medicate for this condition.

So to get right to my question, how many of you experience very limited sleep with this condition? In the middle of 2019, I suddenly began only sleeping 3-4 hours every single night. Is this a normal thing for bipolar disorder?

I understand that this disorder can cause people to require less sleep....but I seriously cannot sleep longer than 3-4 hours no matter how physically active I am the previous day.

I'm a bodybuilder and workout extremely hard most days, I lift weights for 2-4 hours a day. After an exhausting day, I simply sleep 3-4 hours and then I'm totally fine. No daytime fatigue and my cognitive abilities seem okay.
What you're experiencing is a perfectly normal bipolar 2 experience, I was frequently and mostly hypomanic, and during these episodes I lived on 2-3 hours sleep for months without ever feeling tired

The hypomania will stop for spell, and you'll have burn out, because your mind and your body have been over active for an extended period, the psychiatric thinking is that in bipolar 2 hypomania is followed by depression, although some 'idiots' seem to hold the bizarre belief that hypomania always automatically progresses to full blown mania, which is strictly and completely untrue.

Sometimes when the hypomania stops you do get periods of depression, but I think what they believe is depression is most frequently just burn out and mental and physical exhaustion and your subconscious making you rest your mind and body to protect you.

Psychiatrists don't seem to understand the subconscious very well at all, it is essentially your guardian that looks after your well being and development, so when you have the classic symptom of sudden loss of interest in and ability to do things you have always loved doing and everything else with it (and you will), to me, it's just your subconscious stopping you, because it knows your mind and body need to rest for your well being and your subconscious also needs a breather to catch up with and process everything you've been doing while accelerated
 
K

keith74

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
536
Location
Canada
Hello there, I'm new to this forum and just wanted to ask some questions to gain understanding for this condition that I was diagnosed with a few years ago.

I do not medicate for my bipolar 2 and don't intend to ever medicate for this condition.

So to get right to my question, how many of you experience very limited sleep with this condition? In the middle of 2019, I suddenly began only sleeping 3-4 hours every single night. Is this a normal thing for bipolar disorder?
I understand that this disorder can cause people to require less sleep....but I seriously cannot sleep longer than 3-4 hours no matter how physically active I am the previous day.
I'm a bodybuilder and workout extremely hard most days, I lift weights for 2-4 hours a day. After an exhausting day, I simply sleep 3-4 hours and then I'm totally fine. No daytime fatigue and my cognitive abilities seem okay.

I've done some research on this and discovered a condition called "short sleep syndrome". Do you believe I may be suffering from this? Or is my limited sleep just a nasty side effect of bipolar disorder?

I have most of the classic symptoms of bipolar 2, so there is no doubt in my mind that my diagnosis is accurate. But I can't help but feel that I may also have short sleep syndrome.

Thanks for taking the time to read & respond.
Sleep issues is extremely common for people with bipolar.

When my wife is manic, she doesn't sleep because of excess energy.
When my wife is depressed, she can't sleep well because she lies in bed dwelling on all the negatives in her life. Even meds that have a strong sedative effect (like queitiapine or clonazepam) can't get her to sleep much.

Only when she is at baseline does she sleep well.

If you are at baseline and still can't sleep, then yeah it could be something else beside biploar.
 
C

Comorbidity

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
344
Location
London
Also from my experience of 38 years of it, try and do the following:

Use you excess energy and accelerated brain responsibly and productively, choose your friends and those you get involved in projects with incredible carefully, a lot of 'normal' people don't understand why you have what you have, but they will sure as hell try to exploit it for their own benefit and then cast you aside

When you inevitably get depression or the nothingness, accept your mind and body need to rest and recharge and your subconscious needs to play catch up, it does get behind, because it can't process and organise everything in order as it usually would, because it is far far too busy trying to do and keep up with all the functions your conscious is asking it to do when accelerated

Recovery - My method that always worked, until 'normal' people disturbed me when i last tried to recover and prevented me from doing what had always worked was:

Start with the ball, weights for you no doubt, start gently, not overdoing it, build up, each little goal will start to excite and accelerate you again if you're sufficiently rested and ready to go

People, I always found starting by going to somewhere there would be music I liked alone, to be around people and not with them, having just a couple of drinks, really focusing on the music, tapping my feet, letting the beats, the bass, the guitar, the vocals flow through me, focusing on my favourite parts of each in isolation and then deriving incredible pleasure from one to another until I could start to feel them tingling and coming through me. This might not happen to you, but for me from that point it would start to escalate into incredible euphoria, I'd go and dance (very badly I might add) and that would accelerate the process even more.

The euphoria was always a big part in my recovery
 
M

MrMuscles

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Oregon
I'm like you about meds. Don't mess with my libido. My mood stabilizer causes no problems, though I think it can in some people. SSRIs cause near-impotence in me. They can also exacerbate symptoms if you're on the bipolar spectrum and don't do me any good.

My doc and I have tested many meds, and I take a ton of them (I have ADHD, too). She supports me when I say no because of side effects, including sexual side effects. We resume the search for something else when that happens. I'm on a good regimen at the moment and my libido is intact.

A good psychiatrist will take the journey to finding the right meds with you and respect your limits. A bad one will write a scrip and say: take this, it's the only choice. We won't stay on meds that have intolerable side effects and docs know it.

What symptoms make you think the Bipolar 2 diagnosis is right? Have you been diagnosed by a doctor?
Wow thank you, your words have really helped clear up some of the confusion I've had since my diagnosis. A psychiatrist diagnosed me a few years ago because I went to her for anxiety/depression. She put me on an antidepressant (Prozac) which caused a full blown manic episode in me for months. She told me that antidepressants aren't supposed to cause mania in people with depression, so that's when she concluded that I must be bipolar.

I was in denial that I was bipolar for years, but all of my symptoms line up perfectly with bipolar. I have excess energy and motivation for weeks at a time, followed by a "crash" for days/weeks. During the crash I lose all interest in life, it even prevents me from bodybuilding at times. During the weeks that I'm energetic, I lift weights all day long until I physically can't do much else. I experience high levels of euphoria and excitement. I make a million to-do lists and usually get everything done.

I go back and forth between these two states fairly often, but my depressive states are less common.
It doesn't matter which state I'm in, I have suicidal thoughts all day long....every hour of the day. I've been having these suicidal thoughts for years now, had one attempt back in 2016/2017.

I'm 29 years old and have gone pretty much my whole life without friends. Have never had a girlfriend. Never had sex. Honestly, I've never experienced life. Never truly had fun.
And I'm not trying to boast by saying this, but people/women tell me I'm very attractive so it boggles my mind that I live like this.
Most people in public stare at me, but I simply don't have the social skills to engage.

I also have severe ADHD, to the point where I've never had a driver's license.
 
M

MrMuscles

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Oregon
Also from my experience of 38 years of it, try and do the following:

Use you excess energy and accelerated brain responsibly and productively, choose your friends and those you get involved in projects with incredible carefully, a lot of 'normal' people don't understand why you have what you have, but they will sure as hell try to exploit it for their own benefit and then cast you aside

When you inevitably get depression or the nothingness, accept your mind and body need to rest and recharge and your subconscious needs to play catch up, it does get behind, because it can't process and organise everything in order as it usually would, because it is far far too busy trying to do and keep up with all the functions your conscious is asking it to do when accelerated

Recovery - My method that always worked, until 'normal' people disturbed me when i last tried to recover and prevented me from doing what had always worked was:

Start with the ball, weights for you no doubt, start gently, not overdoing it, build up, each little goal will start to excite and accelerate you again if you're sufficiently rested and ready to go

People, I always found starting by going to somewhere there would be music I liked alone, to be around people and not with them, having just a couple of drinks, really focusing on the music, tapping my feet, letting the beats, the bass, the guitar, the vocals flow through me, focusing on my favourite parts of each in isolation and then deriving incredible pleasure from one to another until I could start to feel them tingling and coming through me. This might not happen to you, but for me from that point it would start to escalate into incredible euphoria, I'd go and dance (very badly I might add) and that would accelerate the process even more.

The euphoria was always a big part in my recovery
Your description pretty much describes what I'm experiencing perfectly. That's good and bad, because that means I could go get treatment for this and resume normal sleep. It's bad because that means the way I've been living for the last few years has probably damaged my health quite a bit.
Minimal sleep is very dangerous for your health if you don't have short sleep syndrome, that doesn't bode well for me.

I guess I really should consider getting treatment for this. Shoot.
 
M

MrMuscles

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Oregon
Sleep issues is extremely common for people with bipolar.

When my wife is manic, she doesn't sleep because of excess energy.
When my wife is depressed, she can't sleep well because she lies in bed dwelling on all the negatives in her life. Even meds that have a strong sedative effect (like queitiapine or clonazepam) can't get her to sleep much.

Only when she is at baseline does she sleep well.

If you are at baseline and still can't sleep, then yeah it could be something else beside biploar.
I'm going to have to do some more research on what baseline is. I don't ever experience normal sleep anymore, no matter what I do.
Even when I feel depressed, I fall asleep almost instantly. Depressed states don't cause insomnia in me, I don't spend my nights dwelling on negative things.

I believe I get slightly "longer" sleep when depressed, closer to 4 hours. During energetic phases, I get closer to 3 hours.
 
S

SFGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
257
Location
California
I guess I really should consider getting treatment for this. Shoot.
Can’t hurt. A doc can’t force you to take their advice or the meds they prescribe and you have a lot to gain. If you are on the bipolar spectrum, the drugs could be life changing. They were for me.
 
C

Comorbidity

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
344
Location
London
Your description pretty much describes what I'm experiencing perfectly. That's good and bad, because that means I could go get treatment for this and resume normal sleep. It's bad because that means the way I've been living for the last few years has probably damaged my health quite a bit.
Minimal sleep is very dangerous for your health if you don't have short sleep syndrome, that doesn't bode well for me.

I guess I really should consider getting treatment for this. Shoot.
I read in your next post that you also suffer from depression or what you believe is depression and fall asleep instantly and sleep without issue, is that correct?

If it is correct, then that's normal, psychiatrists really don't understand the subconscious or the condition in that way, I have always very weirdly been incredibly aware of my subconscious and it looks after you and tries to keep you safe mentally and physically.

It may be that you're not depressed, but your fatigued, this is why I believe that depression in bipolar 2 sufferers is often confused with fatigue, your subconscious looks after you, if you lack of sleep, mental acceleration and physical activity is continuing to a point it thinks will be detrimental to your health and well being, it will stop you

If you're sleeping well when you're depressed or think you're depressed, and aren't interested in anything, it's just making you rest, then you can go again
 
C

Comorbidity

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
344
Location
London
I'm going to have to do some more research on what baseline is. I don't ever experience normal sleep anymore, no matter what I do.
Even when I feel depressed, I fall asleep almost instantly. Depressed states don't cause insomnia in me, I don't spend my nights dwelling on negative things.

I believe I get slightly "longer" sleep when depressed, closer to 4 hours. During energetic phases, I get closer to 3 hours.
What are your symptoms of depression though, aching limbs, feeling sluggish, brain fog, sudden lack of interest in things you love and normally do regularly and an inability to do them or pretty much anything else?

If they are, then even though you're not sleeping that much still, you're still resting
 
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