Habitual light exposure and circadian activity rhythms in bipolar disorder: A cross-sectional analysis of the APPLE cohort

Yuichi Esaki, Kenji Obayashi, Keigo Saeki, Kiyoshi Fujita, Nakao Iwata, Tsuyoshi Kitajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Circadian activity rhythm disruption is a core feature in bipolar disorder. We investigated whether light exposure in daily life is associated with circadian activity rhythms in patients with bipolar disorder. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we enrolled 194 outpatients with bipolar disorder who were participants of the Association between Pathology of Bipolar Disorder and Light Exposure in Daily Life (APPLE) cohort study. The participants' physical activity and daytime illuminance were measured using an actigraph over 7 consecutive days. Nighttime illuminance in the bedroom was measured using a portable photometer. Circadian activity rhythm parameters were calculated using cosinor analysis and a nonparametric circadian rhythm analysis. Results: The median daytime illuminance and nighttime illuminance were 224.5 lx (interquartile range, 154.5–307.5 lx) and 2.3 lx (0.3–9.4 lx), respectively. Multivariable linear regression analysis, adjusted for potential confounding factors, showed that higher daytime illuminance was significantly associated with higher amplitude and most active continuous 10-hour period, advanced acrophase, higher interdaily stability, and lower intradaily variability. Higher nighttime illuminance was significantly associated with lower relative amplitude, delayed onset of the least active continuous 5-hour period, and higher intradaily variability. Limitations: As this was a cross-sectional study, the results do not necessarily imply that light exposure alters circadian activity rhythms. Conclusions: Daytime light exposure was associated with a positive effect and nighttime light exposure with a negative effect on circadian activity rhythms in bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-769
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 15-02-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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