Monday, September 04, 2006

Morning person, not by choice

One symptom of depression that I really hate is early morning wakening, aka "terminal insomnia." No matter how late I go to sleep, at around 5:30 a.m. I'm up. It's as bad as its clinical term sounds.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation, is also involved in sleep regulation. So it's logical that a person whose moods are out of whack will have sleep disturbances. Logical, but infuriating and exhausting. It's just another thing I have to cope with that ordinary people don't. And it's a vicious circle: sleep deprivation can lead to depression. (A big part of the reason many new mothers suffer from "baby blues" or post-partum depression.)

Sleep disturbances are very much a part of bipolar disorder. A person in a manic episode often sleeps very little, or not at all. And terminal insomnia is associated with the most severe depressions. One of the reasons I am forcing myself to go to the gym is the hope that it will help my sleep; exercise is known to do that.

Now that I have a blog, at least I can sit at the computer and draft an entry during those quiet predawn hours. When school starts, however, I have a feeling I'll be sucking down a lot of coffee to stay awake during class.
Copyright (c) 2006 "Ayelet Survivor"

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