Bipolar Disorder Linked to Inherited Differences in Sleep Patterns!

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National Academy of Science published a recent study about the connection between bipolar disorder, circadian rhythms, sleeping patterns and specific phenotypes. Actually it focuses on bipolar disorder, differences in sleep and circadian patterns.

Manic depression, known as bipolar disorder, leads to hyperactivity followed by depression. It can include racing thoughts, delusions, creativity, but on the other side feeling of worthlessness.

The above mentioned study reveals that in the last years, more than 3% of the population of America has experienced this manic depression. They also claim that bipolar disorder is linked with genes and as they say runs in families. For example, some people with family history of this disorder, has more similar delta sleep and REM (rapid eye movement).

Sleep and bipolar disorder

According to some researchers sleep and circadian rhythms are early warning signs of bipolar disorder.

Another study by Dr. Takahashi, asked about 600 people from 26 families, to wear an accelerometer on their wrist for 14 days. This research proves that sleep-wake cycles and general activity are genetically inherited.

According to Dr. Takahashi’s study, people with bipolar disorder are less active during the day, but they go to bed later and sleep longer than people who do not have bipolar disorder.

Circadian differences in bipolar disorder

This is a list of specific circadian and sleep phenotypes that can vary between people with and without bipolar disorder:

  • Interdaily stability and variability- level of activity during the day and fragmentation of circadian rhythm
  • Hill acrophase-period of day when they are active
  • Amplitude—linked with circadian rhythm
  • Mean awake duration- average time that people spend awake
  • Median activity- amount of activity per day
  • Mean number of sleep- length of naps during the day
  • Mean length of sleep- how long people sleep during the night
  • Time of sleep offset- what time do they wake up in the morning
  • Mean total minutes scored awake- how long do they spend awake per day
  • WASO: total minutes they need to wake up


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