Sleep and emotions: A focus on insomnia

Department of Psychiatry & Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg Medical Center, Hauptstrasse 5, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.
Sleep Medicine Reviews (Impact Factor: 8.51). 02/2010; 14(4):227-38. DOI: 10.1016/j.smrv.2009.10.007
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Insomnia disorder is defined as difficulties in initiating/maintaining sleep and/or non-restorative sleep accompanied by decreased daytime functioning, persisting for at least four weeks. For many patients suffering from depression and anxiety, insomnia is a pervasive problem. Many of the aetiological theories of insomnia postulate that heightened emotional reactivity contributes to the maintenance of symptoms. This review focuses on the role of emotional reactivity in insomnia, and how the relationship between insomnia and depression and anxiety may be mediated by emotional reactivity. Furthermore, studies investigating the valence of emotions in insomnia are reviewed. Overall, there is empirical evidence that dysfunctional emotional reactivity might mediate the interaction between cognitive and autonomic hyperarousal, thus contributing to the maintenance of insomnia. Moreover, dysfunctions in sleep-wake regulating neural circuitries seem to be able to reinforce emotional disturbances. It seems plausible that dysfunctional emotional reactivity modulates the relationship between insomnia and depression and anxiety. Considering the interaction between sleep and emotional valence, poor sleep quality seems to correlate with high negative and low positive emotions, both in clinical and subclinical samples. Good sleep seems to be associated with high positive emotions, but not necessarily with low negative emotions. This review underlines the need for future research on emotions in insomnia.

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    • " automated dated stamp ) for determining participant compliance with comple - tion of daily - diaries . Third , given the correlational nature of the data , the current findings cannot speak for any causal associations between variables . The nature of the associations between affective experiences and sleep variables are likely bidirec - tional ( Baglioni et al . , 2010 ) . In fact , empirical evidence from experimental studies shows that sleep restriction / deprivation negatively impacts affect / emotion reactivity ( Baum et al . , 2014 ) , perhaps due to reduced connectivity between the medial - prefrontal cortex and the amygdala ( Yoo et al . , 2007 ) . Furthermore , within the context of daily - di"
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescence is a sensitive period for changes in both sleep and affect. Although past research has assessed the association between affect and sleep among adolescents, few studies have examined both trait (typical) and day-to-day changes in affect, and fewer still have specifically examined negative social evaluative emotions (e.g. embarrassment) in relation to sleep. Both between- and within-person variations in daily affect were examined in relation to four objectively-measured sleep outcomes (sleep hours; sleep latency; sleep efficiency; and length of wake bouts) among adolescents. Participants (N = 77 high-school students; 42.9% female; M = 14.37 years) wore an actiwatch and completed daily-diaries for 3 days. The results of hierarchical linear models (controlling for age, gender, race, ethnicity, parental employment status, income, puberty and caffeine) indicated that negative social evaluative emotions and high-arousal affective experiences generally predicted poor sleep outcomes, whereas low-arousal affective experiences were associated with good sleep outcomes. Specifically, at the person level, adolescents reporting higher negative social evaluative emotions had shorter average sleep hours, and those experiencing higher anxiety–nervousness had longer wake bouts. In addition, individuals experiencing more dysphoria (sad, depressed, lonely) had longer average sleep hours and shorter wake bouts, while those experiencing more calmness had shorter sleep latencies. At the within-person level, individuals had longer sleep latencies following days that they had experienced high-arousal positive affect (e.g. excitement), and had longer wake bouts following days they had experienced more negative social evaluative emotions. The results highlight the detrimental effects of negative social evaluative emotions and high-arousal affective states for adolescent sleep.
    Journal of Sleep Research 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/jsr.12338 · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    • "The latter indicates an overall overreactivity to emotional stimuli following sleep deprivation, suggesting a general modulating effect of sleep on emotions. A review of insomnia and emotions found that insomnia is associated with various mood disorders (e.g., depression and anxiety) and heightened emotional reactivity (Baglioni et al., 2010). Additionally there is compelling evidence that the hormones cortisol and epinephrine contribute to the selective processing of emotional material during sleep (Cahill and Alkire, 2003; Payne and Nadel, 2004), with levels being particularly heightened during REM. "
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    Frontiers in Psychology 08/2015; 6(1132). DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01132 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Higher levels of repetitive negative thinking (RNT; a perseverative and abstract focus on negative aspects of one's experience) are associated with reduced sleep duration. This information is already informing theory and clinical practice. However, we are not aware of any studies examining the relation between RNT and the timing of sleep. We examined both disorder specific measures of RNT and a transdiagnostic measure of the RNT process in relation to sleep duration and timing in a sample of 100 unselected undergraduates. Replicating prior findings, shorter sleep duration was cross-sectionally associated with more rumination and delayed sleep timing was associated with more obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Further, extending this prior work, the transdiagnostic measure of RNT was associated with shorter sleep duration and delayed sleep timing. Individuals who endorsed a preference for later sleep and activity times also reported more RNT. These findings suggest that RNT may be uniquely related to both sleep duration and timing.
    Cognitive Therapy and Research 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10608-014-9651-7 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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