Variability in Sleep Is Associated with Trait-Based and Daily Measures of Bipolar Spectrum Psychopathology

Sarah H. Sperry, Thomas R. Kwapil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Although sleep disturbances are well documented in bipolar spectrum disorders (BSDs), significantly less research has examined whether these disturbances are present in those at risk for developing BSDs or with subsyndromal symptoms. The present study examined associations between risk for BSDs, as measured by the Hypomanic Personality Scale (HPS), and sleep assessed using experience sampling. We assessed whether intraindividual variability in sleep was associated with affect, cognition, and behavior in daily life and potential directionality of these relationships. Methods: 233 young adults oversampled for high scores on the HPS completed 14 days of experience sampling assessing total sleep time (TST), bed/rise time, sleep quality, affect (negative and positive affect), cognition (difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts), and behavior (impulsivity) in daily life. We used Dynamic Structural Equation Modeling (DSEM) to assess within-person links between sleep and bipolar spectrum psychopathology. Results: HPS scores were associated with less TST, later bedtime, and more variable TST and bedtime. Variability in TST was associated with negative affect, difficulty concentrating/racing thoughts, and impulsivity. Within-person decreases in sleep were associated with next day increases in negative affect, stress, difficulty concentrating, and racing thoughts. Limitations: Measurement of sleep was limited. Future studies should examine both objective measures of sleep (e.g., actigraphy) and fragmentation in sleep. Conclusions: Risk for BSD was associated with similar patterns of sleep disruptions as seen in BSDs. Important dynamic links between sleep and bipolar spectrum psychopathology emerged indicating that sleep is an important target for improving symptoms of BSDs in daily life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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