Abstract A haloperidol-treated patient with chronic schizophrenia had a near-arrhythmic circadian rest-activity cycle, whereas rhythms of 6-sulphatoxy-melatonin and core body temperature were of normal amplitude and phase-advanced. Sleep electroencephalography measured throughout a 31-h ‘constant-bedrest’ protocol revealed a phase-delayed sleep-wake propensity cycle, low sleep continuity (ultradian ‘bouts’), and very little slow-wave sleep and slow-wave activity (0.75–4.5 Hz). Switching treatment to the atypical neuroleptic clozapine improved both the circadian organization of the rest-activity cycle and the patient's clinical state. This observation can be conceptualized in terms of the two-process model of sleep regulation. High-dose haloperidol treatment may have lowered the circadian alertness threshold, whereas clozapine augmented circadian amplitude (perhaps through its high affinity to dopamine D4 and serotonin 5HT7 receptors in the suprachiasmatic nuclei). Measurement of the circadian rest-activity cycle may be a useful non-invasive method to follow functional consequences of neuroleptic treatment.