You'll feel better in the morning: Slow wave activity and overnight mood regulation in interepisode bipolar disorder

A. M. Soehner, K. A. Kaplan, J. M. Saletin, L. S. Talbot, I. S. Hairston, J. Gruber, P. Eidelman, M. P. Walker, A. G. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Sleep disturbances are prominent correlates of acute mood episodes and inadequate recovery in bipolar disorder (BD), yet the mechanistic relationship between sleep physiology and mood remains poorly understood. Using a series of pre-sleep mood inductions and overnight sleep recording, this study examined the relationship between overnight mood regulation and a marker of sleep intensity (non-rapid eye movement sleep slow wave activity; NREM SWA) during the interepisode phase of BD. Methods Adults with interepisode BD type 1 (BD; n = 20) and healthy adult controls (CTL; n = 23) slept in the laboratory for a screening night, a neutral mood induction night (baseline), a happy mood induction night, and a sad mood induction night. NREM SWA (0.75-4.75 Hz) was derived from overnight sleep EEG recordings. Overnight mood regulation was evaluated using an affect grid pleasantness rating post-mood induction (pre-sleep) and the next morning. Results Overnight mood regulation did not differ between groups following the sad or happy inductions. SWA did not significantly change for either group on the sad induction night compared with baseline. In BD only, SWA on the sad night was related to impaired overnight negative mood regulation. On the happy induction night, SWA increased relative to baseline in both groups, though SWA was not related to overnight mood regulation for either group. Conclusions These findings indicate that SWA disruption may play a role in sustaining negative mood state from the previous night in interepisode BD. However, positive mood state could enhance SWA in bipolar patients and healthy adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-260
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Cambridge University Press.


  • Bipolar disorder
  • mood regulation
  • polysomnography
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


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