New BDRN study published: Relationships between sleep and mood in bipolar disorder

Our research findings examining the interplay between sleep and mood in individuals with bipolar disorder using intensive longitudinal data have recently been published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

We examined relationships between sleep and mood among 649 BDRN participants who had provided weekly self-reports of insomnia, depression and (hypo)mania symptoms using the True Colours online monitoring tool for 21 months.

Our results showed that increased variability in insomnia symptoms was associated with increased mood variability and worse mood over the course of the study. Furthermore, in the sample as a whole, we found strong evidence of relationships between insomnia and depressive symptoms but weaker support for relationships between insomnia and (hypo)manic symptoms. The strength of these relationships were found to depend on age, gender, bipolar subtype, and a history of rapid cycling. For example, we found stronger relationships between sleep and (hypo)mania symptoms among individuals with bipolar I disorder and stronger relationships between sleep and depression among individuals with bipolar II disorder.

Our results highlight the importance of sleep monitoring in bipolar disorder. Our findings also indicate researchers and clinicians investigating the association between sleep and mood should consider subgroup differences in this relationship.

We would like to say a special thank you to all the BDRN True Colours participants who contributed to this study.