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: 9.14). 02/2010; 14(4):227-38. DOI: 10.1016/j.smrv.2009.10.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

Download full-text


Available from: Dieter Riemann, Jul 03, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The psychological mechanisms by which depressed mood can lead to impaired sleep and poorer overall health remain unclear. The goal of this study was to investigate the extent to which a tendency to ruminate accounts for the associations between depressed mood and both sleep quality and self-reported health in 165 healthy young adults. Self-reported assessments of anxiety, depressed mood, rumination, sleep quality, and general health were collected at two different time points approximately 2 months apart. Structural equation modeling revealed that rumination measured at the earlier time point mediated the relationships between depressed mood and both sleep quality and health, all measured at the later time point, in a model that was a good fit to the data overall, χ(2) (50, N = 165) = 103.08, p < 0.001; RMSEA = 0.08 (0.06-0.10), TLI = 0.91, CFI = 0.94. Results were similar whether or not anxiety was controlled. Results indicate that rumination may be a psychological mechanism by which negative mood leads to impaired sleep and poorer perceived health.
    Journal of Behavioral Medicine 09/2014; 38(2). DOI:10.1007/s10865-014-9595-0 · 3.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Little attention has been paid to the relation between daily affect and sleep, as most prior studies have focused instead on the role of pathological mood in the context of sleep disturbance. However, understanding the transaction between normal variations in emotional experiences and sleep can shed light on the premorbid vulnerabilities that trigger the evolution of affect and sleep into more problematic states. The present study used a two-week daily sampling approach to examine the impact of day-to-day variations in positive and negative affect on nightly self-reported sleep onset latency, sleep duration, and sleep quality in a sample of young women. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed temporal relations between positive and negative affect states and sleep parameters. Specifically, different aspects of both positive and negative affect were uniquely predictive of sleep indices, with sadness and serenity acting as the most consistent predictors. Additionally, better sleep quality was predictive of greater happiness the following day. These results highlight the importance of how our daily emotional experiences influence our nightly sleep and, in turn, how our sleep has an impact on our daily affect. Moreover, our findings may offer insight into the progression of normative levels of affect and sleep as they develop into comorbid depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
    Journal of Sleep Research 05/2014; 23(6). DOI:10.1111/jsr.12190 · 2.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The interpersonal environment is strongly linked to sleep. However, little is known about interpersonal distress and its association with sleep. We examined the associations among interpersonal distress, objective and subjective sleep in people with and without insomnia. Participants in this cross-sectional observational study included men and women with insomnia (n=28) and good sleeper controls (n=38). Interpersonal distress was measured with the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems. Sleep parameters included insomnia severity, self-reported presleep arousal, and sleep quality; and polysomnographically-assessed sleep latency (SL), total sleep time (TST), wake after sleep onset (WASO), percent delta (stage 3+4 NREM), percent REM, and EEG beta power. Hierarchical linear regression was used to assess the relationship between distress from interpersonal problems and sleep and the extent to which relationships differed among insomnia patients and controls. More interpersonal distress was associated with more self-reported arousal and higher percentage of REM. More interpersonal distress was associated with greater insomnia severity and more cognitive presleep arousal for individuals with insomnia, but not for controls. Contrary to expectations, interpersonal distress was associated with shorter sleep latency in the insomnia group. Results were attenuated, but still significant, after adjusting for depression symptoms. Distress from interpersonal problems is associated with greater self-reported arousal and higher percent REM. Individuals with insomnia who report more distress from interpersonal problems have greater insomnia severity and cognitive presleep arousal, perhaps due to rumination. These findings extend our knowledge of the association between interpersonal stressors and sleep. Assessment and consideration of interpersonal distress could provide a novel target for insomnia treatment.
    Journal of psychosomatic research 03/2014; 76(3):242-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.11.010 · 2.84 Impact Factor