Anxiety and the Sandman

It’s been awhile since I have written as life events and lack of time have made it very difficult. My latest struggles have been with sleep and, as many of you are aware, sleep impacts many aspects of life, including motivation, focus, and mood in general.

I am getting little sleep through no fault of my own. I fall asleep fine, but I wake up from sleep in panic mode. I am nauseous, dizzy, and have diarrhea often at night when I wake. I am worried about any number of things. Fear won’t leave and the Sandman won’t come. I am not having nightmares, that I can remember. I am just waking up in this hyper aware anxious state. It takes me ages to fall back asleep and then I just wake up again. It’s a cycle.

As you can imagine, the lack of sleep, the stress of the physical symptoms on my body, and the general demands of motherhood have been at odds. We are incredibly busy with all the stuff for the boys on top of my therapy. I need a break. Fortunately, my sister has agreed to take the boys one day next week and has even offered to take them overnight. My husband told me to get a massage and that we’ll go out to dinner that night. I have several gift certificates for massages so I will only have to pay for tip. As soon as she confirms when she’s going to do it, I’m going to schedule one.

Lack of sleep + Anxiety = Episode Fears

Well, this lack of sleep is a problem for me with my bipolar disorder as sleep is usually an indicator of an oncoming episode. The fact that it’s mid night waking makes it more frustrating. I am now on high alert for a potential oncoming episode, analyzing every behavior and every feeling as though it was to signal the end of stability. So far, it hasn’t.

I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and we came up with a plan. My therapist is on vacation or I would have worked with her on this extensively the other night. The plan is to do some mindfulness/meditation exercises before bed. I’m also to take my anti-anxiety medication for 2 weeks or so before bed every night. I slept last night with this formula so I’m hoping that this is an indication that this combination will work until the whole thing gets straightened out for the long term.

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