Chronotype and Psychiatric Disorders

Curr Sleep Med Rep. 2018;4(2):94-103. doi: 10.1007/s40675-018-0113-8. Epub 2018 Apr 16.


Purpose of review: Chronotype, reflecting interindividual differences in daily activity patterns and sleep-wake cycles, is intrinsically connected with well-being. Research indicates increased risk of many adverse mental health outcomes for evening-type individuals. Here, we provide an overview of the current evidence available on the relationship between chronotype and psychiatric disorders.

Recent findings: The association between eveningness and depression is well established cross-sectionally, with preliminary support from longitudinal studies. The mechanisms underlying this relationship warrant further research; deficient cognitive-emotional processes have recently been implicated. Eveningness is associated with unhealthy lifestyle habits, and the propensity of evening types to addiction has been recognized. Chronotype may also be implicated in disordered eating.

Summary: Eveningness is associated with depression-including seasonal affective disorder (SAD)-and substance dependence, while support for a relation with anxiety disorders and psychosis is lacking. In bipolar disorder, chronotype is linked to depression but not mania. Eveningness is also related to sleep disturbances and poor lifestyle habits, which may increase risk for psychiatric disorders.

Keywords: Anxiety disorder; Bipolar disorder; Chronotype; Delayed sleep phase syndrome; Depression; Eating disorder; Eveningness; Seasonal affective disorder; Substance abuse.

Publication types

  • Review