The sleep-circadian interface: a window into mental disorders

Nicholas Meyer*, Renske Lok, Christina Schmidt, Simon Kyle, Matt W Jones, Sarah Chellappa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep, circadian rhythms, and mental health are reciprocally interlinked. Disruption to the quality, continuity, and timing of sleep can precipitate or exacerbate psychiatric symptoms in susceptible individuals, while treatments that target sleep—circadian disturbances can alleviate psychopathology. Conversely, psychiatric symptoms can reciprocally exacerbate poor sleep and disrupt clock-controlled processes. Despite progress in elucidating underlying mechanisms, a cohesive approach that integrates the dynamic interactions between psychiatric disorder with both sleep and circadian processes is lacking. This review synthesizes recent evidence for sleep—circadian dysfunction as a transdiagnostic contributor to a range of psychiatric disorders, with an emphasis on biological mechanisms. We highlight observations from adolescent and young adults, who are at greatest risk of developing mental disorders, and for whom early detection and intervention promise the greatest benefit. In particular, we aim to a) integrate sleep and circadian factors implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of mood, anxiety, and psychosis spectrum disorders, with a transdiagnostic perspective; b) highlight the need to reframe existing knowledge and adopt an integrated approach which recognizes the interaction between sleep and circadian factors; and c) identify important gaps and opportunities for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2214756121
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number9
Early online date23 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.


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