Current Psychiatry Reports

, 15:402 | Cite as

Recent Advances in Sleep-Wake Cycle and Biological Rhythms in Bipolar Disorder

  • Rébecca Robillard
  • Sharon L. Naismith
  • Ian B. HickieEmail author
Sleep Disorders (RM Benca, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Sleep Disorders


The cyclical nature of periodic switches in energy, motor activation and sleep-wake cycles in bipolar disorder suggests a strong underlying relationship with disturbances in chronobiology. Current research is refining our understanding of the various patterns of sleep-wake and biological rhythms alterations at early and later stages of this illness, as well as across its depressive/fatigue, manic/hypomanic and euthymic phases. This research focuses on early detection and subsequent monitoring to predict and better manage recurrent episodes. Sleep-wake cycle and biological rhythms disturbances are also well known to affect other key aspects of physical health (notably metabolic functions), cognitive performance and elevated risks for suicide. Increasing evidence now supports the integration of behavioural or pharmacological therapeutic strategies that target the sleep-wake and circadian systems in the ongoing treatment of various phases of bipolar disorder.


Bipolar disorder Sleep Wake Circadian Biological rhythms Chronobiology Affective Mood Sleep disorders Psychiatry 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Rébecca Robillard and Sharon L. Naismith declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ian B. Hickie is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Australia Fellowship (No. 464914). He was a director of headspace: the national youth mental health foundation until January 2012. He is the executive director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute, which operates two early intervention youth services under contract to headspace. He is a member of the new Australian National Mental Health Commission and was previously the CEO of beyondblue: the national depression initiative. He has led a range of community-based and pharmaceutical industry-supported depression awareness and education and training programs. He has led depression and other mental health research projects that have been supported by a variety of pharmaceutical partners. Current investigator-initiated studies are supported by Servier and Pfizer. He has received honoraria for his contributions to professional educational seminars supported by the pharmaceutical industry (including Servier, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly).

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rébecca Robillard
    • 1
  • Sharon L. Naismith
    • 1
  • Ian B. Hickie
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Clinical Research Unit, Brain & Mind Research InstituteThe University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

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