Welcome to the blog for Free Your Mind mental health anti-stigma campaign

This is the blog for the Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film, and culture.
The blog consists of informative and, hopefully, entertaining articles/posts.
Enjoy! :-)

Monday, 6 September 2010

Sleep Disorders

I haven't posted in a while because I was unsure of what to write about. But then I came across a post on the Internet about sleep disorders. Before I talk about that, though, I wanted to just fill in regular readers on the progress of the Free Your Mind campaign. As you may already know Free Your Mind is a campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of art, music, film and culture; and, as you may not necessarily know, the last blog post was the first of many posts which will be centered around the campaign's core aims. So, with this post I am in danger of going back on myself but this was something I felt needed to be aired.

For a long time now my CPN and psychiatrist has been telling me that my rocky sleeping pattern is all my own doing and absolutely nothing to do with my mental illness.

I have trouble falling asleep and when I do I sleep for a long time. Along with that, I am told I move about a lot (night tremors) and I have very disturbing dreams that stay with me all day. The following is the research I found on sleep disorders.

The symptoms of sleep disorders often go unnoticed by the person concerned. These symptoms can express themselves as snoring, nocturnal sleepwalking and gnashing of the teeth. (I gnash my teeth all the time.) Nocturnal sweating and urination also impairs your sleep when suffering from a sleep disorder (Yep.), and this can sometimes result in bed-wetting.

The research I found says that most sleep disorders are caused by anxiety and stress. And to beat sleep disorders you can meditate, stay positive and keep a balanced nutrition. Which I completely agree with. But, at the same time, surely the state that my sleep problems are in should be ringing alarm bells in someone's ears, and not just mine! Or maybe my CPN's right and this is something I have to sort out by myself?!?

4 comments:

  1. A very strange and disconcerting condition is Paradoxical Sleeping Disorder. You lie in bed in a state of total awareness of your surroundings; hearing every noise, sensing every movement of your partner, counting every passing moment. You wake up feeling as though you did not sleep at all, and yet you can function surprising well the following day. Sleeping medications do not help, in fact they may even seem to make the condition worse.

    Then while you begin to fear about the ill effects of sleep deprivation, your partner tells you "What do you mean? You were snoring all night!" At that point, you're not sure who really has the problem. But low and behold, such a condition exists. You sleep, but are not aware of it. You do not dream as a result of being stuck in one of the early stages of sleep.

    It's rare, but it occurs. I should know. I went weeks suffering from it. Had I actually been "sleepless" all that time, I would have suffered dire consequences. The only problem was the stress it induced and the effects of lack of "quality" sleep. The brain is a strange thing indeed.

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  2. That's very interesting. It's definitely something I will look into further. It really impairs day-to-day life.

    I don't think I'm suffering from Paradoxical Sleeping Disorder because I have very vivid "dreams" that feel very real at the time, and that are often very disturbing.

    I do agree, the brain is strange, remarkable too, but certainly strange!

    Nicola Edwards of FYM

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  3. Hmm, I have a dreadful sleeping pattern, which has improved somewhat over-the-years, in that, around 2007/2008, I'd often just stay awake right through the night, and then go to bed around 1100 the next day. However, since being on tablets, it's improved in that I don't stay-up all night; and tend, to, on-the-whole go to bed around 2230/2300, and unless I need the loo in the night, which is occurring with increasing frequency, I sleep right through until, usually, ca 0700.

    However, the last few weeks, I have been awake staring at the ceiling, and then getting little sleep, and end-up back in the cycle that my sleep pattern becomes buggered.

    I also have a nap around 1600, as the tablets start making me tired, and I just have to wind-down and nap.

    Mind, in my case, it has been attributed to the ASC, in-that, it has been reported by various relatives, that in child-hood, I would get up extremely early, apparently as early as 0400, and just sit downstairs and watch TV; equally, I used to go to bed quite early - as early as 2100.

    So, with sleeping, I just try and take it where I can.

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