Sleep-wake cycle in young and older persons with a lifetime history of mood disorders

Rébecca Robillard, Sharon L. Naismith, Kristie Leigh Smith, Naomi L. Rogers, Django White, Zoe Terpening, Tony K C Ip, Daniel F. Hermens, Bradley Whitwell, Elizabeth M. Scott, Ian B. Hickie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Considering the marked changes in sleep and circadian rhythms across the lifespan, age may contribute to the heterogeneity in sleep-wake profiles linked to mood disorders. This study aimed to investigate the contributions of age and depression severity to sleep-wake disturbances. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was administered to assess current symptoms severity in 238 persons with a history of a mood disorder between 12 and 90 years of age (y.o.). Actigraphy was recorded over five to 22 days. Regression analyses and analyses of variance [age (12-19 y.o., 20-39 y.o., 40-59 y.o., and ≥60 y.o.) by depression severity (HDRS< and ≥8)] were conducted. The 12-19 y.o. and 20-39 y.o. groups had a delayed sleep schedule and acrophase compared to all other groups. The ≥60 y.o. group had a lower rhythmicity and amplitude (p≤.006) than the 12-19 y.o. group (p≤.046). Participants with a HDRS≥8 spent longer time in bed, had later sleep offset times and had lower circadian rhythmicity than those with a HDRS<8 (p≤.036). Younger age and higher HDRS score correlated with later sleep onset and offset times, longer time in bed, higher WASO, lower sleep efficiency and later acrophase (p≤.023). Age was a significant predictor of delayed sleep and activity schedules (p≤.001). The profile of sleep-wake cycle disturbances associated with mood disorders changes with age, with prominent sleep phase delay during youth and reduced circadian strength in older persons. Conversely, disruptions in sleep consolidation seem more stable across age.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere87763
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Sleep-wake cycle in young and older persons with a lifetime history of mood disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this