Study on sleep, darkness and bipolar

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by aoeu, Apr 17, 2010.

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  1. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    In short, being in a completely dark room for the same 10 hours every day can be highly effective for treating bipolar - perhaps even more than medication.

    In light of learning about this I've set alarms on my phone and I'm obeying them as strictly as possible: seroquel at 10PM, bed at 11PM, waking up at 9AM, with a perfectly dark room between 11 and 9. It might be worth trying - it has no side effects and the routine would help organize your life in any case.
  2. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    I'm gonna read that later(cos I'm tired :tongue:) but I just wanted to say in support- good quality sleep can be the best medication. Without a strict sleep routine in my flat I would not be where I am now, I'd be..somewhere else entirely. And I'm medication free too. From my experience medication messed with my sleep cycle, so was counter-productive.

    Before I did this, lets say 'round the age of 18-19, I used to find darkness + little/to no stimuli helped when I was psychotic and manic. It'd be darkness and rest. And it worked!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2010
  3. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    I can relate to a lot of that article- I lately found if I got back home before 6, prepared my meals and went to bed around 10-11, the next day would be sheer, clear-headed, bliss. I had a good sleep too. Sometimes I do need that extra sleep, and I listen to myself closely, get that sleep and it's just brilliant. Knowing what to do to manage oneself, listen to warning signs and pay attention to one's body and rest is so simple and it works.

    I can't say I understood the graphs or analysed them much, but I only speak from personal experience. I used to be really sensitive to light at one period too, when I used to go manic/psychotic a lot, bear in mind I was on activating ADs at that time too.

    Thanks for sharing!
  4. BioHomocide

    BioHomocide Well-Known Member

    This is funny cause I do this a lot from like 8PM to 6AM. :D But my parents call me a vampire.
  5. plates

    plates Well-Known Member


    I remember being in darkness a lot when I was 17, can't say it helped me cos I wasn't sleeping, I was painting. :mellow:
  6. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Well, it doesn't need to be sleeping, but it does need to be dark - painting or using a computer or watching TV or reading render it ineffective.
  7. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Update: still going strong. Though I didn't use it during May or June because I moved and didn't have blinds :\

    Still, that's like 4 months of NO CYCLING OMG, except for a few days here and there because my strict schedule had been disrupted. Those can be dealt with in just a day or two.
  8. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    This is a really interesting thread, thank you. I'm not bi-polar myself, but have a friend who this might help. Please keep updating, it's really interesting.

  9. lifeisashedog

    lifeisashedog Well-Known Member

    Who sleeps, thinks no evil :cazza:
  10. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I had a mania a bit back, I'm always a bit lax so I can't expect them to all be gone. They're harder to handle because of the insomnia. It's really hard to lie in the dark for 10 hours if you're not sleeping, especially if you're restless from mania. Depressions are relatively easy because you go to sleep when you lie down and 3 days later they'll be fixed.

    I'm having more and more trouble sleeping these days... I think I might switch to 9.5 hour nights; I think the reduction of 30 minutes will be less damaging than my constantly changing hours as it stands.
  11. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I suppose compliance would be increased if I noted this fact: if you cycle at a normal pace you don't need to do this all the time, only when you have an episode. I do it all the time because I cycle in time periods on the order of weeks, not months.
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