Women with Bipolar Disorder, sleep quality affects mood

Poor sleep is associated with negative mood in women with bipolar disorder, according to researchers.

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The condition is marked by extreme mood episodes characterized as manic (highs), depressive (lows) or mixed.

Sleep problems are common in people with bipolar disorder, and poor sleep quality and bipolar disorder appear to exacerbate each other. Previous research shows that poor sleep quality is a symptom of depressive and manic episodes, and that lack of sleep can trigger mania.

“Patients with bipolar disorder often suffer with sleep problems even when many of their other symptoms are well-controlled,” said Dr. Erika Saunders, chair, department of psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine. “Improving their sleep could not only better their quality of life, but also help them avoid mood episodes.”

Finding the best treatments for sleep disorders in people with bipolar disorder meant investigating differences between women and men with the condition.

“Women and men sleep differently,” Saunders explained. “We know from studies of the general population that women have a different type of sleep architecture than men, and they’re at different risks for sleep disorders, particularly during the reproductive years.”

Women and men also experience bipolar disorder differently. Women often have more persistent and more depressive symptoms, as well as a number of other coexisting conditions such as anxiety, eating disorders and migraine headaches. Men tend to have shorter episodes and more time in between episodes.

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6 thoughts on “Women with Bipolar Disorder, sleep quality affects mood

    • cherished79 says:

      I surely agree with you there; the vicious cycle. Sleep too much/sleep too little. Unfortunately, I still have to take meds (trazadone), to get and stay asleep. Thanks for commenting.


  1. operahell says:

    My husband and I came up with the phrase “tirate”, basically meaning that when we are tired we become irate more quickly. BPD aside, I think lack of sleep has that affect on everyone, since being tired generally results in a lowered ability to rationalize and make good decisions.


    • cherished79 says:

      Yes, totally on the same page with this issue. I was on Serquel for years (that med really knocks you out, but has hugs side effects; as one time took night meds in the morning, and well, couldn’t function for more 1/2 an hour, my boss must have thought I was drunk asking to go home when I just arrived, but just had to sleep it off!). I take trazadone now and it helps.
      Thanks for stopping by to comment. 🙂


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