Insomnia and Mental Health

For most of the winter I had the problem of sleeping too much.  I’d sometimes sleep until noon or even later and still be wanting to sleep by midnight.  Now my problem is that I just have a real hard time staying asleep, especially in the overnight hours.  Of course I’m concerned about this.  Sometimes major problems follow large changes in sleep patterns for me.  Getting good sleep is important for controlling mental illness problems.

This has been going on for several days.  One of the changes I made in an attempt to get more consistent sleep is taking my medications earlier in the night.  Sometimes my meds can make me sleepy.  Another thing I have done is cutting back on caffeine after 4pm.  I admit I love my caffeine, especially coffee and soda pop.  But perhaps I’m getting more sensitive to caffeine as I age.  But the cutbacks on caffeine make me less jittery but they aren’t helping me sleep much.

One advantage to sleeping less is I’m getting more done.  I’m spending more time outside.   I’m able to do laundry more often.  I’m keeping less clutter around my apartment.  Some of my habits have improved as I’m drinking more water and bathing twice a day now.  I have always liked taking a hot bath right before bed.  It helps me relax.  And I think I’ve lost a few pounds in the last couple weeks because I’m more active.

I still sleep some in the overnight hours.  I just usually don’t stay asleep for more than two hours at a time.  Since I keep my windows open most of the time anymore, I can hear the birds singing in the early morning hours when I would have been sound asleep in the winter months.

As much as I enjoy being able to get more done and having more energy, I am concerned about the changes in my sleep patterns.  I have traditionally had problems after major changes in sleep patterns.  This concerns me as springs and early summers have traditionally been my happiest times of year.  Spring has always been a favorite season of mine.  I just hope that if any problems do come up because of this insomnia I’ll be able to handle them without having a blow up on my family or friends.

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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.

Avoiding Social Problems and Long Lonely Nights

With the exception of my parents and a couple close friends, I have essentially put most of my social interactions on hold for the last several days.  I have also avoided most social media.  Anymore I essentially sleep during most of the daylight hours, do my grocery and outside shopping at night, and stay awake during most of the overnight hours reading online articles, watching youtube videos, and reading.

As odd as my schedule is, it seems to be working.  I had some problems several days ago but fortunately they were short lived.  Unfortunately with my schizophrenia it can sometimes be weeks of calm stability mixed in with minutes of anxious crisis.  I am glad that my family and close friends can endure my breakdowns without taking them too personally.  I do have this nagging fear in the back of my mind that someday I’m going to end up having a psychotic breakdown in public someday and win up in prison or shot.  I hope this is just a symptom of the paranoia aspect of my illness and this never happens.

Been feeling pretty decent since the weekend overall.  I don’t really socialize with anyone in my apartment complex or even really in person much.  But as much as I’ve had to deal with rude, angry, and dumb people over the last several months, maybe a break from human interaction is in order.  Dealing with dumb and rude people is tiresome and tedious.  I don’t see how normal people can do it day after day, year after year.

As I’ll be up for the rest of the night, I’m going to make a trek to the all night deli and pick up some good Chinese.  If I can’t sleep regularly I just as well keep up healthy eating.