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AMBIENT-BD: Ambient and passive collection of sleep and circadian rhythm data in bipolar disorder to understand symptom trajectories and clinical outcomes


Funder: Wellcome Trust (£3m)
Project duration: 2023-2028
Principal Investigator: Prof Daniel Smith, University of Edinburgh
Collaborating Institutions: University of Edinburgh, Maynooth University, Technical University Munich

Project website: AMBIENT-BD

Bipolar disorder is defined by extreme variability in mood, activity, sleep and circadian timing recurring over weeks and months. To date, studies of sleep/circadian rhythms in bipolar disorder have been cross-sectional and based on only 1-2 weeks of monitoring: we urgently need new approaches that can assess longer-term individual-level changes in sleep, activity and mood, to better understand symptom trajectories and mechanisms of relapse. We will optimize innovative ambient and passive data collection methods over long time periods and test their feasibility and performance against gold standards.
A lived experience advisory panel will help us to identify and prioritize clinical and functional outcome measures and develop ‘low intensity’ methods for collecting these outcomes. In parallel, we will develop a data collection and management system to support data collection and optimize data sharing with patients, clinicians and the research community.
The core of this project is an 18-month prospective follow-up study of sleep, circadian rhythms and clinical/functional outcomes in people with bipolar disorder that primarily makes use of low intensity ambient and passive data collection methods.
We will also work with Bipolar Scotland to co-produce an innovative programme of knowledge exchange on the theme of ‘Sleep, circadian rhythms and bipolar disorder'.

Inviting people with lived experience
AMBIENT-BD is inviting adults over 18 years with diagnosis of bipolar disorders (Type I or Type II) to take part in a co-production to determine the outcomes important to people with lived experience. The co-production will help shape the research design and processes of the upcoming scientific research.
Find out more about the project:
You can also email or to express your interest to take part in the study.
Please circulate this information to relevant groups or networks.
AMBIENT-BD: Co-production flyer
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