Objective: A previous cross-sectional study reported that nighttime light is associated with increased occurrence of manic symptoms in bipolar disorder; however, the longitudinal association between nighttime light and subsequent mood episode relapses remains unclear. We determined whether bedroom nighttime light was associated with mood episode relapses in patients with bipolar disorder. Methods: This prospective cohort study included 172 outpatients with bipolar disorder who participated in an Association between the Pathology of Bipolar Disorder and Light Exposure in Daily Life (APPLE) cohort study. A portable photometer was used to measure illuminance in the bedroom from bedtime to rising time during 7 consecutive nights for baseline assessment. Then, the participants were assessed at a 2-year follow-up for mood episode relapses. Results: Of the 172 participants, 157 (91%) completed the 2-year follow-up, and 39 (22%) experienced manic or hypomanic episodes (with or without mixed features), during that time. In the Cox proportional-hazards model, the hazard ratio (HR) for manic/hypomanic episode relapses was significantly higher when the average nighttime illuminance was ≥3 lux (n = 71) than when it was <3 lux (n = 101; HR, 2.54; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.33–4.84). In the multivariable model adjusted for a propensity score in relation to nighttime light, the relationship remained significant (HR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.04–4.52). The association between nighttime light and depressive episode relapses was not significantly different. Conclusions: Keeping the bedroom dark at night may prevent hypomanic and manic episodes.
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