Background: While sleep disturbances associated with bipolar disorder's depression and mania phases are well documented, the literature regarding sleep during remission phases is less consistent. The present study's aim was to describe the nature and severity of sleep difficulties in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) during remission phases.
Methods: Fourteen participants with BD were compared to 13 participants with primary insomnia and 13 without mental health disorders or insomnia on different sleep and daytime functioning parameters using actigraphy, sleep diaries and self-report measures.
Results: Results suggest that sleep of individuals with BD was similar to that of individuals without mental health disorders or insomnia, but differed from that of individuals with insomnia. Nevertheless, participants with BD still presented sleep complaints and, like individuals with insomnia, were less active in the daytime, carried on their daily activities at more variable times from day to day, and reported more daytime sleepiness.
Limitations: Patients were taking medications and the limited sample size did not permit comparison of sleep parameters between bipolar I and bipolar II patients.
Conclusions: Psychological interventions aimed at encouraging the adoption of more stable sleep and daily routines might be helpful in helping individuals with BD cope more efficiently with some of these complaints.
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