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Get the right amount of sleep

People with bipolar disorder often have problems sleeping. Hoepner says about 25% of them sleep too much at night or take long naps, and about one-third have insomnia even when they aren’t having an episode.

Irregular sleep patterns can precipitate a manic or depressive episode.

Set an alarm and get up at the same time every day, Hoepner says. Even if you don’t have to get up for work, try to schedule regular morning activities such as walking or exercising with a friend (because exercise is important too).

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Use therapy too

“Therapy is really, really important,” Bearden says. Some patients, if their mood is stabilized, see a psychiatrist only every month or two. But Bearden recommends more regular therapy, typically cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help people get on a good schedule and understand and interpret events and thoughts.

She also recommends interpersonal therapy, which can be helpful in maintaining stable friendships, relationships, and family interaction—often a problem with people who are bipolar.

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