Odd Sleep Patterns With Mental Illness

I have been experiencing changes in my sleep patterns the last several weeks.  I now usually stay up quite late and sleep in the mornings until usually noon.  But I still get my sleep and am still able to do this blog two to three times per week.  I am still able to socialize with friends and family in spite of my mornings being when I now sleep.  I have adjusted to this new routine by doing my shopping and errands at night and scheduling my medical appointments for late afternoons.  I look at it as no different than working a nigh shift job.  My mother worked night shifts for years so I think it runs in the family.

Oddly I actually have felt more stable and calm during the last few weeks.  Because of my overnight schedules I have been able to avoid problem neighbors whom have been causing me grief and irritation.  The fact that I rarely hear from irritable and angry neighbors has made my stress levels go way down.  I haven’t felt this calm and relaxed in a real long time.

Even though I’m not getting a great deal of physical activity as it’s still winter, I have found myself eating less.  Most days I eat only two meals, drink a lot of water, and have a couple cups of coffee.  I have found that caffeine can be an appetite suppressant for me.  But if I have more than two cups of coffee at a time it can make me jittery and irritable.  And I think I’ve even started to lose weight again because I’m eating much less.

I haven’t had problems with hallucinations and delusional thoughts lately.  I think it helps that I still get good sleep, avoid stressful people and situations, and just pretty much have settled into a routine that has been helpful for the course of the winter.

My sleep patterns do vary throughout the year.  During the summers I am often awake shortly after dawn and usually don’t sleep as much as the winters.  I sleep the most and stay up the latest in the winters.  But it evens out as winters are usually slow and uneventful times for me.  I usually have my worst problems with schizophrenia in late summers and early autumns.  I don’t know if it’s common for someone with my diagnosis to have seasonal aspects to the illness.

As of right now I am happy with my patterns and routines.  I can still get things done and I don’t get bothered by irritable people as much as I normally do.  I imagine as the days get warmer and longer I probably will start waking up earlier and hibernate less.


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