Depressive insomnia and diurnal fluctuations of mood and activity are core clinical features of mood disorders. Here we studied the effect of CLOCK 3111 T/C SNP (rs1801260) on the actimetric recorded diurnal activity and nocturnal sleep of 39 bipolar depressed inpatients. Compared to T/T homozygotes, carriers of the C allele had a similar degree of severity of depression, but showed higher activity levels in the evening, a delayed sleep onset (mean 79 min later), and a reduced amount of sleep during the night (mean 75 min less). Ongoing lithium treatment significantly interacted with rs1801260 by enhancing activity levels in the evening and reducing the differences among genotype groups. Individual characteristics of the molecular clock can influence sleep symptoms in mood disorders. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.