A preliminary study of sleep in adolescents with bipolar disorder, ADHD, and non-patient controls


  • The authors of this paper do not have any commercial associations that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with this manuscript.

Corresponding author:
Benjamin C. Mullin, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
121 Meyran Avenue, Suite 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Fax: 412-383-8336
E-mail: mullinbc@upmc.edu


Mullin BC, Harvey AG, Hinshaw SP. A preliminary study of sleep in adolescents with bipolar disorder, ADHD, and non-patient controls.
Bipolar Disord 2011: 13: 425–432. © 2011 The Authors.
Journal compilation © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Objectives:  To compare the sleep of adolescents with bipolar disorder (BD) to groups of adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder–combined type (ADHD-C) and those without psychopathology.

Methods:  A sample of 13 adolescents diagnosed with BD who were not in the midst of a mood episode, 14 adolescents with ADHD-C, and 21 healthy controls, all between the ages of 11 and 17 years served as participants. They were psychiatrically evaluated using a structured diagnostic interview and completed four nights of in-home sleep monitoring using actigraphy and sleep diaries.

Results:  Sleep diary estimates of sleep indicated that participants with BD experienced more awakenings than their peers with ADHD, whereas actigraphic estimates revealed that participants with BD slept longer and with less wakefulness than their peers.

Conclusions:  In between mood episodes, adolescents with BD experience their sleep as more fragmented than that of their peers but do not exhibit more disturbed sleep as estimated by actigraphy. The possible influence of psychotropic medication is an important consideration when assessing sleep in the context of BD.