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
Source: PubMed


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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    • "There are reciprocal relationships between emotional reactivity, emotion regulation, and sleep disturbance (Baglioni et al., 2010); however, this has not been specifically examined within the context of trauma exposure. There is some evidence to suggest that sleep disturbances existing prior to trauma exposure may contribute to the development of PTSD, that trauma exposure contributes to sleep disturbances, and that both are a risk factors for PTSD development (Babson & Feldner, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Sleep disturbance and poor sleep quality has been associated with trauma exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms; however, the associated emotional consequences of sleep disturbance have not been examined within this context (i.e., emotional reactivity, emotion modulation). The current study examined the relationship between sleep disturbance, poor sleep quality, and emotion regulation difficulties. Methods: In a sample of college students reporting exposure to at least one traumatic event, online survey methodology was used to assess PTSD symptom severity, sleep disturbances, including PTSD-specific sleep disturbances, and emotion regulation difficulties. Results: After controlling for PTSD symptom severity, sleep disturbance and poor sleep quality domains were related to both global and specific difficulties in emotion regulation domains. Conclusion: The findings suggest that sleep disturbance and emotion regulation difficulties associated with PTSD, may not be a mere extension of the clinical picture of PTSD. Sleep disturbances following trauma exposure may contribute to emotion regulation difficulties and exacerbate negative consequences. Future research should examine the effects of treatments that simultaneously address sleep disturbances and PTSD symptoms on emotion regulation processes.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Psychological Trauma Theory Research Practice and Policy
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    • "Rosales- Lagarde et al., 2012). Finally, chronic poor sleep quality has been associated with a higher intensity and more frequent report of NA (for review, see Baglioni et al., 2010). While the main hypotheses pertain to betweenperson differences (specifically, mood-disordered versus healthy control), follow-up analyses examined within-person differences within groups. "
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    ABSTRACT: Disordered sleep has been linked to impaired emotional functioning in healthy and depressed individuals. Little is known, however, about how chronic sleep problems influence emotional reactivity in everyday life. Participants with major or minor unipolar depressive disorder (n = 60) and healthy controls (n = 35) reported on sleep and emotional responses to daily life events using a computerised Experience Sampling Method. We examined whether impaired sleep quality influenced emotional reactivity to daily events, and if this relationship was altered by unipolar mood disorders. Among healthy individuals, sleep difficulties were associated with enhanced negative affect (NA) to unpleasant events and a dulled response to neutral events. However, among mood-disordered persons, sleep difficulties were associated with higher NA across all types of everyday life events. Impaired sleep quality differentially affects daily life emotional reactions as a function of depression.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Cognition and Emotion
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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.
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