Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  2022 Dec;29(2):40-44. 10.14401/KASMED.2022.29.2.40.

Sleep Disorders in Bipolar Disorders: A Narrative Review on Circadian Rhythm Disturbances and Sleep Apnoea

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University and Uijeonbgu Eulji Medical Center, Daejeon, Korea


Bipolar disorders are a group of mood disorders characterised by relapsing mood episodes throughout the course of illness. Patients with bipolar disorders commonly present with various sleep problems. Patients in a manic episode generally show decreased need of sleep and those in a depressed episode frequently complain about hypersomnia. Current literature even points to evidence that patients with bipolar disorder in euthymic state may still show signs of sleep disturbances when compared to the general population. Clinicians may also note intricate interactions between changes of circadian rhythm and evolution of mood episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Also, commonly prescribed medications which plays a crucial role in treatment of bipolar disorders including mood stabilisers and antipsychotic medications often cause significant weight gain over time. Being a risk factor of sleep apnoea, weight gain can predispose the patient to develop sleep apnoea. In this narrative review, we summarised current evidence and literature regarding characteristics of circadian rhythm and comorbid sleep apnoea in patients with bipolar disorder. We also present literature regarding implications of circadian disturbance and comorbid sleep apnoea in managing patients with bipolar disorder.


Bipolar disorder; Circadian rhythm disturbance; Sleep apnoea; Sleep disorder
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