Are there any simple exercises i can do instead of actually taking medication?
I have noticed I am quite excitable and jumpy and also very irritable at night time before I go to bed... is there anything that I can do to calm myself down or something, without needing or taking any sort of medication?
I have a number of recommendations for a before bed routine:
- Keep the lights dim after sundown.
- No late evening TV or computer.
- Start preparing yourself to relax and wind down for bed by 9:00 p.m.
- Try a warm bath before bedtime, with some Lavender in the water.
- Meditate for 15-30 minutes in the evening
- Gentle, yoga stretches may be helpful as well.
- No over-stimulating activities. No news. No intense or very intellectual books.
- Before bed, do at least 5 minutes (or more) of Meridian Tapping/EFT focusing seperately on each specific target symptom - such as "irritable" or "racing thoughts" or "unable to sleep." Tapping has been one of the most useful tools for insomnia among my clients with Bipolar Disorder.
- Keep your bedroom absolutely dark all night. Dark window shades and no light getting in from outside the room. If this is not possible, wear a soft eye mask to bed.
- If your mood is hypomanic - with racing thoughts, insomnia and irritability or motor restlessness, you could try putting a dropperful of clean, ice cold water in your LEFT ear canal. Do this gently, without force, so as not to cause any pressure in the ear. (See Dr Jack Pettigrew's research on Interhemispheric Switching for more info).
Various supplements work for certain people. You wont know until your try. For example, GABA, L-Theanine, Melatonin, Valerian, Skullcap, and Passion Flower to name a few.
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist
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