Taking medication is critical when you have a serious mental illness like bipolar disorder, but getting the best Bipolar Care treatment goes well beyond the prescription pad. Certain lifestyle factors can help medication work better by actually changing the way the brain works, says Chris Aiken, MD, an instructor in clinical psychiatry at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and director of the Mood Treatment Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
1. Stay on Schedule. For the best bipolar care, engage in daily rituals at the same time each day or within a half-hour window, Dr. Aiken advises. This can regulate neurohormones and cut your risk for mood swings in half, he says. The four activities most critical to your body clock are: when you get out of bed, the time you start work or chores, when you begin interacting with others, and when you eat dinner.
2. Get Regular ZZZ’s. Getting enough sleep is very important for Bipolar Care treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Aiken says to focus on the regularity of sleep as well as the quantity you get. Research shows that waking at regular times and staying out of bed during the day are much more important than trying to fall asleep at regular times.