Manning said he always slept with light from outside his cell in his eyes. If guards could not see his face when he rolled over at night, he said they would wake him to roll back over.
He also began to feel the way he felt in the "cage" in Kuwait, when he contemplated suicide. "I started going back to Kuwait mode, that dark hole," Manning said.
But months passed, over which time Manning and his attorney asked periodically why his status wasn't eased, saying he had not been violent and had not tried to hurt himself.
To show he wasn't a danger, Manning said he told a non-commissioned officer in the brig at one point that he could have used the "waist band of my underwear or my flip flops" to hurt himself, but hadn't done so.
That night he was forced to sleep naked. His underwear, flip flops and glasses were removed from his cell.
The next morning during a head count, he said he was forced to stand naked in front of the guards and other inmates. Contrary to earlier testimony, Manning said he was never given a chance to cover himself with his blanket.
His life changed, he said, upon his arrival at Fort Leavenworth. For the first time in nine months, he could move his arms and legs freely without handcuffs or leg iron restraints.
"I was expecting to be put back in restraints," Manning testified. "I knew they were going to put the hammer down eventually."
Instead, he moved freely among other inmates.
Eight months into his time at the Kansas base, Manning said he heard another inmate talking about him and tried to punch him in "the face and ended up hitting him in the shoulder."
The altercation earned Manning 15 days of disciplinary segregation and 14 days of extra duty. Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton, from Fort Leavenworth, testified by phone earlier Thursday that this December fight was Manning's only problem while there.
Manning was questioned by defense lawyers for about five and a half hours Thursday. Prosecutors will get their chance to query him Friday, and the hearing is scheduled to end the next day.