Bipolar Mania Symptoms

Insomnia

What is insomnia?

Insomnia refers to an inability to fall or stay asleep at night.7

What does insomnia feel like when caused by mania?

The person may feel energetic and believe they have an unlimited supply of energy. The person's experience may be that they do not need to sleep. They may believe they don't require the same amount of sleep as other persons.

The person may sleep less in order to pursue grandiose projects. It is not uncommon that a person may pursue grandiose ideas into all hours of the night during a bout of mania.21

How can I recognize insomnia?

To others, it is evident that the person has difficulty sleeping. They may stay up late at night and sleep in. The individual may look tired and worn throughout the day.

It is possible the person sleeps in or naps during the day in order to compensate for lost sleep during the night. This may further disrupt the circadian rhythm (regular sleep cycle).5

They may say, "I'm not tired", or "I don't need that much sleep, I'm very busy with my projects."

Other signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are evident. Increased energy, racing thoughts, and flight of ideas are common during insomnia. As a result, the person who may not be sleeping at night may also be unusually active.

Exercising in the middle of the night in order to cope with bipolar symptoms such as increased energy is not unusual.

How does insomnia impact life?

In bipolar disorder, sleep deprivation can trigger a manic episode, or increase the severity of already present mania symptoms.22

Work and school performance may decrease. Students may falls asleep in class or workers may need extended periods of rest in order to make it through the day.

My Story

I suffer from insomnia, but only when I'm manic/high. If the mood is up, I'll stay awake most of the night. I don't sleep more than 3 hours. I don't feel like I need to sleep, and actually don't feel tired. I'm not that productive when I'm like this because the following day I'm pretty tired.

~ Alita, Mexico City, DF