Bipolar disorder can be a difficult disease to identify in teens or adults. Proper diagnosis of bipolar is made challenging due to the especially wide range of behaviors that a bipolar person may exhibit. Sleep is one behavior that is typically affected in bipolar disorder and changes in sleep patterns can be a signal to parents of a potential problem for their teenager. Teen bipolar disorder affects sleep differently in the manic and depressive episodes of the disease.
Sleep changes during a manic phase
When a bipolar teen is in a manic phase, he or she will have a decreased need for sleep or difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep. The teenager may get up and wander around the house looking for things to do in the middle of the night. They may even be highly agitated at such times.
Sleep changes during a depressive phase
On the other side of the spectrum, a bipolar teen in his or her depressive phase may begin sleeping too much. This is often accompanied by a lack of interest in other activities, including those that may be some of his or her favorites. Overeating can also happen during this time.
Parental awareness is important
Being aware of your child’s habits, including sleep patterns, and any changes to them can be your best way to notice signs that your child may need help. Teen bipolar disorder affects sleep and watching out for too little or too much sleep can give you good information.