Bipolar + sunglasses = no bipolar

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by aoeu, Jan 15, 2011.

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  1. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Well, maybe.

    This isn't entirely proven yet, but it'd be worth a try, and it's much less awful than the 10 hours of total darkness.

    Using amber tinted sunglasses that prevent all un-filtered light from hitting your eyes might be just as effective.

    So, the idea is to wear the tinted sunglasses for (10-x) hours when you sleep x hours (and have a dark room for sleeping, too.)

    Please try it and get back to this thread!

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15654938 Demonstration that dark therapy is effective for bipolar disorder.

    http://psycheducation.org/depression/darkrx.htm Description of dark therapy in more detail for the layperson.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17637502 Theory proposing that amber glasses should work instead of complete darkness, based on neuroscience.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2011
  2. aki

    aki Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all these suggestions aeou. I don't think I'm Bipolar but do have a big problem with sleeping patterns and have done for a long time. I read your other thread and have been trying to spend more time in pitch darkness, which I've never done (I would often sleep with the lights on or in the daytime with curtains open). It's certainly very interesting and worth attempting anyway.
     
  3. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I hope you do get some benefit.

    By the way, the research was done with rapid-cycling bipolar (which I have), which is often (as in my case) medication resistant. I can't guarantee the rest of you will see any benefit, though it really can't hurt to try when you hit an episode.
     
  4. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I'm trying it... I'm having trouble sleeping 10 hours now and lying in the dark sucks. I ordered https://www.lowbluelights.com/detail.asp?id=24 because they offer very good coverage, to be used ~30 minutes a day unless I need to reduce sleep some more. http://www.vorpahlfireandsafety.com/Products/Sperian___Uvex/S1933X/3605/UVXS1933X is another, much cheaper option but it doesn't appear to offer as good protection.

    I'm gambling pretty badly here, one bad episode could ruin the semester. As soon as I see any sign of an episode I'm going back to 10 hours pitch black.
     
  5. Ravenwing

    Ravenwing Well-Known Member

    I'm rapid cycling too. But my problem is that I am terrified of the dark and cannot go to sleep without a light on.
     
  6. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

  7. Ravenwing

    Ravenwing Well-Known Member

    Awesome, thank you for that!
     
  8. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    By the by, I've not been sleeping strictly for the last couple months but have been wearing the glasses to make up ten hours between sleep and glasses total and have been stable (I think; I've been suffering situational depression which I believe to be unrelated to bipolar because it's much less severe than bipolar depression).
     
  9. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Silliest shit ever.
     
  10. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Science is stupid, after all.
     
  11. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    I'm not bipolar but I believe there could be some validity in this stuff. I have severe sleep problems and have been to a sleep lab. Experts in sleep believe most mental illnesses are caused by poor sleep. That's right, caused by poor sleep, not the other way around, ie, mental illness causing poor sleep. And you don't always know that your sleep is poor. They told me even when I manage to sleep, I wake up 8 times an hour, without knowing it. Total darkness, as dark as you can get the room, is very important to getting the best sleep possible. They've proven this, without a doubt. So darken your rooms! And many things in our bodies are affected by light/dark cycles. Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by not enough light. It's very possible that changing the amount of light one is exposed to and the quality of one's sleep could affect bi-polar disorder. Also if you are going to wear sunglasses indoors, I recommend doing it before bedtime, as reduced amounts of light before sleep will help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep by causing your body to start releasing melatonin, the sleep hormone affected by light.
     
  12. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I appreciate your support - and hadn't concerned myself with when to wear the sunglasses. On weekends I tended to use it in the morning, but you are very right!

    Honestly I don't think I've gotten any converts. It makes me sad. I understand that it sounds ridiculous, but there is scientific support for this, published in major journals; every psychiatrist should know about and recommend it. It's cheap, HIGHLY effective, and has no side effects. Discovering this is the most important thing to ever happen to me, I think.

    I should have posted the research in this thread. I'll see if I can get a mod to do it in my first post.
     
  13. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    Good idea. It would be more convincing to people, to see the actual research.
     
  14. sunshinesblack

    sunshinesblack Well-Known Member

    hello, i dont really need research to know my sleeping pattern is bad for my health and id be good to have a differentiation between sleep/night work/day and leisure but my life and health r just fuked up and am also kinda not tempted by the glasses cause of actually having to draw extra attention to me, like i dont do already, all the science in the world aside it does not seam that easy to put stuff in practice.
     
  15. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Are you usually out both in the evening and the morning? Are you happy with your mental illness? With the side effects of the relatively ineffective drugs that are used to treat it? With the cost of those drugs?

    Personally, I wear a spinal brace outside of my clothes every moment I'm out. I'm terribly shy, I'm surprised I managed to do it. It's something you get used to... So used to, in fact, that when people stare at me I have to check for the reason because I completely forget that people stare at the brace. Yellow sunglasses would attract far less attention - and they could improve your life greatly. It's not about science. It's about quality of life. If anyone asks, simply answer that they help you sleep.

    By the way, I have a method for reducing self-consciousness too. Self-hypnosis. :D
     
  16. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I know it can seem intimidating to start, but it gets easier the longer you do it. It's certainly an easier lifestyle change than exercising or regular meditation. It'll take a few weeks to get used to but then you're cured for life from an uncurable illness. Admittedly, it's not perfect - I'm coming off of a mania right now. But I've had two manias and no depressions in something like 6 months, and the manias only lasted 2 or 3 days. Previously, they'd last about 2-3 weeks and happen every other month, with a depression in between. I don't know what it's like being schizoaffective, but I can almost guarantee it's worse than wearing yellow glasses a few hours a day.
     
  17. tweetypie

    tweetypie Antiquities Friend

    ive read a bit about this ...would i be right in thinking that you think its the extra melatonin that helps control the bipolar? Im just curious as to why you couldnt just take melatonin itself (my son takes this) or do you think there is something else that the light itself being blocked does to the brain?
     
  18. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I don't believe it's about QUANTITY of melatonin, but TIMING of melatonin. The goal is a stable circadian rhythm.
     
  19. aki

    aki Well-Known Member

    I think I may give this a try. Since my sleeping pattern is so messed up and has been for years, there must definitely be an issue there..and it probably relates to my mood. How often a day would you have to wear them though..all the time?
     
  20. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Sleep+sunglasses at least 10 hours solid. I was quite successful for almost a year like that... But that's tricky, if you screw up a day or two you're in trouble, I've had several (short) manias as a result. I've switched to 11 hours recently, hopefully it'll be a bit stabler still.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2011
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