Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Girlfriend refuses to sleep

My girlfriend is 42 years old. She has been diagnosed as bipolar by one doctor but not by another. She takes many medications has some mental issues and is on disability because of it. Over the past 6 months or so she will have periods of a few days where she just refuses to sleep. Not that she can't, she can, but she refuses to. Her mind will be get so tired she slurs her words so bad you can't understand her. She will hallucinate at time and talk to people who are not there. She even becomes violent and cruel to anyone who suggests she needs some sleep. If she would just lay down she would sleep, but she wont. After 3 or 4 or 5 days she will finally give in and sleep. But those 3 or 4 or 5 days are a nightmare to deal with. If she wakes up in 3 or 4 hours she is the same way. If she sleeps 10 hours she is much better. Three or four weeks can go by with no problem, but then it happens again, usually when she feels a little stressed. It is affecting us all! She sees doctors but I don't think she tells them about this. What can I do to help?
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replied December 12th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
If it were me I would try to pick a time when she is most rational, then calmly and in a non-judgmental manner ask her why she refuses to sleep.

I would try to understand her reasoning without comment, just try to get a handle on what she is thinking.

Then I would follow up, again trying to pick a time when she is most rational, and explain to her specifically how and why her reasons for not sleeping are distorted and unrealistic. How they are hurting her, you, and your relationship.

See if that helps. If it doesn't, then I would suggest she needs counseling.

And if none of that works, and it were me, and in a non-committed relationship, after giving it my best shot I would probably start to think about a new GF.
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replied December 23rd, 2012
Community Volunteer
I have suffered from sleep problems for over 50 years. I also take several meds for depression AND sleep AND I've been known to "fight" sleep and can stay awake for 30+ hours at a time. It can happen once a week or once a month--I am more aware of it now, since my doctor has been working with me.

I don't know why I won't turn off the light. Once I turn off the light and allow myself to go to sleep, I sleep. But, something prevents me from turning off the light. I'll stay on the computer, even if I'm falling asleep; I'll try to talk on the phone until I can't be understood anymore; I'll be awake until I pass out. I may stay asleep for 3 hours, I may stay awake for 8 hours.

When I am sleep deprived, I hear things and see things. I don't become violent or crazy, but I do become "dazed and confused."

I recently read somewhere that people like us are probably scared of the dark and, thus, are fearful of turning off the lights to go to bed. I, for one, never thought about it, but I was sleeping with the tv, computer, and hall lights on. When I started turning off all of the tv, I noticed the number of nights I was staying up reduced dramatically.
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replied December 23rd, 2012
Community Volunteer
I have suffered from sleep problems for over 50 years. I also take several meds for depression AND sleep AND I've been known to "fight" sleep and can stay awake for 30+ hours at a time. It can happen once a week or once a month--I am more aware of it now, since my doctor has been working with me.

I don't know why I won't turn off the light. Once I turn off the light and allow myself to go to sleep, I sleep. But, something prevents me from turning off the light. I'll stay on the computer, even if I'm falling asleep; I'll try to talk on the phone until I can't be understood anymore; I'll be awake until I pass out. I may stay asleep for 3 hours, I may stay awake for 8 hours.

When I am sleep deprived, I hear things and see things. I don't become violent or crazy, but I do become "dazed and confused."

I recently read somewhere that people like us are probably scared of the dark and, thus, are fearful of turning off the lights to go to bed. I, for one, never thought about it, but I was sleeping with the tv, computer, and hall lights on. When I started turning off all of the tv, I noticed the number of nights I was staying up reduced dramatically.
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