Lack of Resilience Is Related to Stress-Related Sleep Reactivity, Hyperarousal, and Emotion Dysregulation in Insomnia Disorder

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J Clin Sleep Med


STUDY OBJECTIVES: According to the diathesis-stress model of insomnia, insomnia may develop in vulnerable individuals in response to stress. Resilience is a psychobiological factor that determines an individual's capacity to adapt successfully to stressful events and low resilience increases vulnerability for development of mental disorders. The aim was to explore resilience in subjects with insomnia and its relationship with the factors that contribute to its development and perpetuation.

METHODS: The study consisted of 58 subjects with Insomnia Disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition and 38 good sleepers. Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA), Ford Insomnia Response to Stress Test (FIRST), Pre-sleep Arousal Scale (PSAS), and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) were administered while taking into account psychiatric symptoms. Differences in means between groups were assessed using t test or Mann-Whitney U/Wilcoxon test. Linear/multivariable regression analyses and mediation analyses were performed.

RESULTS: Subjects with insomnia (24 females, mean age 49 ± 2.1 years) had lower RSA and higher FIRST, DERS, and PSAS scores than good sleepers (22 females, mean age 47.2 ± 1.2 years). After controlling for anxiety/depressive symptoms, low resilience correlated with high stress-related sleep reactivity (P = .004), pre-sleep cognitive hyperarousal (P = .01) and emotion dysregulation (P = .01). Emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between low resilience and cognitive hyperarousal (Z = 2.06, P = .03).

CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with insomnia showed low resilience, which was related to high stress-related sleep reactivity, emotional dysregulation, and hyperarousal. If resilience helps to minimize the extent of pathogenesis in the developmental process, an early identification of vulnerable candidates should be useful for preventing insomnia development and maintenance.

COMMENTARY: A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 709.

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