Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care – gimme some!

imgresI’ve always loved the very sound of the famous Shakespearean line from Macbeth:

“Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care.”

Although I have a degree in English literature and I read Macbeth, that was over twenty years ago, so I’ve forgotten most of the play, but not that line.  “No Fear” and “” explained the full meaning of the words very well:

“Here Shakespeare means that sleep ‘knits up’ or secures what has become confused or tangled in our lives. (something that is raveled is tangled confused or knotted) Sleep brings loose ends together. It lets things settle down and smooths out what was giving us problems before we went to sleep.”

Oh wow, I’d kill for sleep like that.  My sleep has been much better since I started taking Seroquel at bedtime, but I often have what I call “Seroquel dreams” which are bizarre, slightly disturbing dreams.

I’m writing this post on my forty-fourth birthday.  I hoped that I’d wake up this morning after a decent’s night sleep, without too many freaky Seroquel dreams.  I was crossing fingers and toes that I’d leap out of bed refreshed and ready to start the day with a nice, sparkly attitude.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and as a result I’m a bit of a zombie.

Our two little girls like to take turns hopping into our bed at ungodly hours.  Time and time again, we lecture them about this, and explain how important it is for Mommy and Daddy to get enough sleep.  They promise us they’ll stop their interruptions, but their promises are made in vain.  We can’t lock them out of our room because our room is connected to theirs and there is no lock.  (Even if we had a lock, it wouldn’t solve the problem.)  When we insist that one or the other girl returns to her own bed, ear-splitting cries ensue and all in all, it’s not a pretty scenario.

It’s not a hopeless situation.  I know they will stop when they turn eighteen.

Meanwhile, besides the girls’ nighttime unpleasantries , my digestive system had unpleasantries of its own.  I had an upset tummy right before bedtime.  Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that I mussed up our bed at 2:00 a.m. Yes, me, not either of my children.

T.M.I.  Sorry.  Please forgive me.  (Can I blame my oversharing on my lack of sleep?)

Waking up at 2:00 a.m. scares me, because I know if I don’t go back to sleep, a bipolar mood swing could be triggered.  Like many people with bipolar disorder, I am incredibly sensitive to sleep loss.  I remember back in the early 1980’s my Dad, who also had bipolar, was prescribed sleep deprivation by his U.C.L.A. psychiatrist.  The doctors advised him to use sleep deprivation to lift his depression.  I don’t recall if sleep deprivation worked for Dad, but I know it would be absolutely disastrous for me.

Sleep deprivation actually triggered my bipolar mania.  In 2007, after I went into labor at 9:00 p.m., I didn’t sleep, and I became hypomanic.  Ultimately I became full-blown manic.  I experienced hypergraphia as well.  (Hypergraphia is compulsive writing triggered by changes in brain chemistry.  I’ve blogged about hypergraphia here:

So, at 2:00 a.m. after cleaning up my mess, I was wide awake and I didn’t foresee sleep in my future anytime soon.  After hemming and hawing, I decided to take another 100 mg dose of Seroquel.  I thought that the extra amount would do the trick, although I was hesitant to pop the pill because I didn’t want to be super-groggy the next day.

It didn’t work.

I believe my insomnia culprit was a seemingly innocent cup of extra-strong Columbian coffee that I had a few hours after breakfast.  I grind our coffee beans daily, and yesterday I used a lot more than usual.  Not the smartest move.  I used the usual amount today and I’m hoping tonight is better on all counts.  I think I’ll sleep better as long as I don’t eat all of my velvety chocolate birthday cake and get high on sugar!

Thanks for reading, and please comment about what helps you sleep.

Sweet dreams!


8 thoughts on “Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care – gimme some!

  1. So sorry you had insomnia issues. I hate when they hit me. I try benadryl if my meds aren’t working for me. Though thankfully I haven’t had to use benadryl for a while

  2. My Seroquel dreams have been driving me crazy, too! If you figure out how to get them to stop please let me know. I too would love just one morning waking up refreshed!

    • Thanks so much for commenting, Kate & for following my blog. I’m really loving your blog and just discovered it – I’ll spread the word! I will definitely let you know if I find out how to stop the Seroquel dreams. I’m glad I’m not alone! 😉 Looking forward to catching up on all your posts – happy blogging!

  3. Hey there Jessica! I love your comments…I am glad you haven’t had to use that Benadryl for a while! My husband uses it for his allergies…but unfortunately I can’t combine it with the Parnate (an MAOI a.k.a. monoamine oxidase inhibitor/antidepressant that has saved me!) I need to cool it with the caffeine and sugar. Easier said than done! 😉 p.s. thanks for all your hard work with the International Bipolar Foundation – you did a fantastic job!

    • Hey there Elaina! Thanks so much for stopping by. I have known about melatonin for many years. I live ten minutes away from a company called Source Naturals, which was one of the first supplement companies to manufacture & distribute high-quality melatonin. It became their bestselling product and some friends of mine swore by it.

      I finally tried Source Naturals sublingual melatonin last year with high hopes, but it had the opposite effect with me: it totally made my insomnia much worse. 😦 I was so bummed!

      I now take an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) called Parnate (tranylcypromine) which has been a lifesaver in lifting my bipolar depression. According to various internet medical websites, combining an MAOI with melatonin is contraindicated.

      I slept much better last night, thank God, so cutting down caffeine helped me along with a 45 minute workout on my elliptical. I’ll check out your blogs this week & I’ll see you on FB at MHBlogs! :))

  4. Hi Dyane,

    Unfortunately I have similar insomnia issues and right now they’re compounded by chronic pain issues. I also have been taking Seroquel for some time and can’t sleep at all without it. I don’t have the crazy dreams that some have but that might be due to taking Gabapentin and Trazodone
    along with the Seroquel at night.

    I look forward to your posts very much–keep up the great work!

    • I am sorry we are both members of the insomnia club. I’m sure I already mentioned this before, but I think the Seroquel *may* have helped lift my bp depression in tandem with the MAOI (Parnate) & lithium. My dreams are actually getting a little less disturbing!

      I’m glad you don’t have bad dreams from the Seroquel. I’ve tried both gabapentin (for anxiety) & trazodone (can’t remember why I tried it! duh!) and neither of them helped me….but at least neither of them harmed me! 😉

      By the way, I love the new Gravatar shot of you and your “significant otter” – you are a lovely couple! Thanks *SO* much for your encouragement about my blog – it means more to me than you know! I so appreciate it. Please keep in touch!

      Sweet dreams,
      p.s. do you have a blog? I looked for one to no avail – please let me know!

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