How Are Sleep Patterns Affected By Bipolar Disorder, And How Can I Tell If I'm Getting Enough Sleep?

Question: How are sleep patterns affected by bipolar disorder, and how can I tell if I'm getting enough sleep?

Answer: During the depressed phase of the bipolar disorder, it's common to experience insomnia, characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early. Bipolar depressed patients are also particularly sensitive to hypersomnia -- characterized by too much sleep, sometimes up to 18 hours per day, and daytime fatigue. What's especially problematic with bipolar patients is that sometimes deprivation of sleep for any reason -- such as caffeine consumption -- could lead to a switch into mania -- which could be a big problem.

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