Both sleep disruption and impulsivity are important predictors of the course of bipolar disorder (BD). Although sleep disruption has been shown to intensify impulsivity, little research has considered how these two important domains interact within BD. Adolescence is a critical period for the onset of BD, and is often associated with increases in impulsivity and substantial changes in sleep. We tested the hypothesis that disruptions in sleep would increase impulsivity among adolescents, and that this effect would be more pronounced among those with BD.Thirteen- to nineteen-year-olds diagnosed with BD-I (n = 33, age [mean ± standard deviation (SD)] 16.2 ± 1.66 years, 54.5% female) and psychiatrically healthy controls (n = 26, age [mean ± SD] 15.5 ± 1.45 years, 55.6% female) reported their past-week bedtime, rise time, and sleep duration, separately for school days and weekends, and completed a self-report questionnaire on impulsivity. Stepwise regression was used to examine the effects of sleep on impulsivity, and the moderation of this effect by BD status.Adolescents with BD reported significantly higher impulsivity, later and more variable rise time, and more variable time in bed and sleep duration on school days than did controls. Greater change in sleep duration between school days and weekends was associated with significantly more impulsivity among adolescents with BD as compared to controls.These findings highlight the important effect of sleep on impulsivity among adolescents with BD and add to the growing evidence that establishing sleep routines may be an important therapeutic target for youth with BD.
View details for PubMedID 29781205