Sleep. It's probably more important for the individual suffering with bipolar disorder than for others. What many take for granted, those with bipolar disorder have to work at sometimes.

Merely the presence of bipolar disorder in individuals can cause a huge disruption in your sleep patterns. But if you allow that to occur, you'll only find yourself in a Catch-22 situation of your bipolar disorder spiraling dangerously out of control.

Therein lies the ultimate problem for those who suffer with bipolar disorder. Undoubtedly, you ask yourself, if you can't sleep, is it because you're suffering from a manic episode due to the bipolar disorder? Perhaps you can't sleep because of the medications you're taking due to your bipolar disorder.

So how does a person suffering with bipolar disorder ensure he's doing everything he can to provide himself with a good night's sleep?

First, let's talk about something called "regulated sleep". This may be a strange term for many - especially for those with bipolar disorder. Regulated sleep is the scheduled pattern of sleep the same time every single night. You go to bed at the same time . . . wake up at the same time. . . rise the next morning at the same time. It's important even if you don't have bipolar disorder. But if you suffer with bipolar disorder, it's even more vital that you develop this habit.

That brings us to the topic of your circadian rhythm. That's the term medical researchers give your 24-hour biological clock. It's important to us all - it's even more important that as a person with bipolar disorder you pay attention to this. Your circadian rhythm determines when you sleep, as well as when you wake up. But it's more, much more, than that. For this very essential rhythm also tells your body when to start creating specific chemicals and when to stop. For a person with bipolar disorder, this can spell the difference between a good day and a day with an episode.

The good news is - even as an individual with bipolar disorder - you can control your rhythm. The more you upset your rhythm by working strange and different hours, staying out late and partying or ignoring what you put into your body as well as cultivating stress, the harder it'll be to find that sleep stability that you need. Even staying up late watching television can be dangerous for a person with bipolar disorder.

As a person suffering with bipolar disorder you need to take a good hard look at your sleep patterns. Are they in need of repair?