Typologies of individuals vulnerable to insomnia: a two-step cluster analysis

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Sleep and Biological Rhythms


Research and clinical practice have demonstrated that patients with insomnia are a heterogeneous population. As such, it is important to understand and differentiate the potential sub-groups among insomnia patients as well as individuals at risk for insomnia. Questionnaires completed by 291 students of both sexes and at risk for insomnia (FIRST scale score >= 22) were analyzed (age range 17-24 years). Two-step cluster analyses comprising all the valid cases (N = 291) were performed to analyze the phenotypes of individuals vulnerable to insomnia separately for men and women. The results showed that men and women present different psychological profiles. Among men, it was possible to distinguish two clusters: one with relatively low scores in negative psychological variables and high positive affect and another with high scores in negative psychological variables and low scores in positive affect. Among women, three clusters were observed: two resembling the ones found for the male sample and one additional cluster encompassing individuals with moderate scores on all of the measures. However, it is possible that this additional group in women may be due to the larger sample size. The current study supports the idea that among individuals at risk for insomnia, one can discriminate different profiles. Sex-related differences should be further investigated in the future.

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ePub ahead of print