When sleep upheavals continue for more than two weeks and begin to pose problems in an individual’s life, they can become a concern, especially in the case of patients of bipolar disorder (BD). A recent study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, sheds light on the importance of sound sleep for bipolar patients.
One in four patients with BD may face the risk of mood upheaval as a result of sleep loss, said the research, led by Katie Lewis, a Ph.D. student at the Cardiff University. Further, sleep loss can aggravate and trigger relapse, especially in the form of mania.
A number of reasons could lead to sleep disorder in an individual, and it is necessary to understand the root cause of this problem to be able to find a solution to it. Similarly, it is paramount to understand the factors that influence the relationship between mood episodes and sleep disorder. It will invariably help predict in which individuals the chances of relapse loom large following periods of disturbed sleep or sleep deprivation. If someone is experiencing sleep deprivation due to long working hours or working in shifts, understanding it would help devise effective strategies to combat it.
Sleep loss can lead to manic and depressive episodes
The researchers interviewed a large sample of respondents who were part of the Bipolar Disorder Research Network. The participants were from patient support organizations like Bipolar UK and from NHS community mental health teams. Such a wide spectrum of respondents helped the researchers determine whether bipolar type (type 1 or type 2), as well as gender, had any role to play in people’s susceptibility to sleep loss. Although type 1 and type 2 refer to serious mental conditions, people with type 1 BD tend to experience severer episodes of elevated mood, requiring hospitalization in most cases.
“It is unclear why some individuals become depressed following sleep deprivation and others become manic. It is possible that other triggers associated with relapse in bipolar disorder, such as stressful or exciting life events, medication use or interpersonal conflict, may coincide with the sleep loss that people experience,” said Lewis.
While the current study to predict the prevalence of sleep loss as a trigger in individuals suffering from bipolar depression in both manic and depressive episodes is the largest and a maiden one, the research team at National Centre for Mental Health plans to expand the study by directly measuring sleep with the help of activity monitors.
Dealing with bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive disorder, is a serious mental health disorder, which calls for immediate medical attention. Procrastinating treatment can only exacerbate symptoms, complicating matters later on.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2.6 percent of the U.S. adults have a 12-month prevalence of bipolar disorder, out of which 82.9 percent cases are termed as severe. Further, less than half of those suffering from BD receive treatment for their condition.
If you have a loved one suffering from bipolar disorder, seek immediate treatment from a credible rehab center in your vicinity. Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral health treatment provider in the United States with various evidence-based treatment programs. Call at our 24/7 helpline for more information about the best bipolar disorder residential treatment. You can even chat online with our representatives to know more about our state-of-the-art BPD treatment centers in California and other states of the U.S.