The pursuit of early markers that may predict subsequent risk for borderline personality disorder (BPD) has been an important area for researchers. For example, an early history of loss or emotional or physical abuse has been frequently associated with later development of BPD. Many BPD symptoms first emerge during adolescence; therefore, exploration of patterns in childhood that may be correlated with borderline symptoms emerging in adolescence may result in useful correlations. One area that has not been significantly examined is sleep cycles and how circadian rhythm irregularities may be associated with mental illness. Patients with diagnosed BPD often complain of sleep disturbances, such as nightmares, insomnia, or unstable day-night sleep schedules. Such individuals often exhibit patterns of staying up late and sleeping during the day. I have seen patients who insist they have been unable to fall asleep and stay awake for several days at a time. Some have substantiated these claims under observation in an inpatient environment. Often, more severe borderline symptoms were correlated with more disrupted sleep schedules. Little research has examined how sleep and BPD are associated. Does the development of BPD symptoms, such as anxiety or mood changes, precipitate sleep problems? Or does sleep dysfunction revealed… Read full this story
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