Insomnia symptom severity modulates the impact of sleep deprivation on attentional biases to emotional information
Vargas I, Drake CL, and Lopez-Duran NL. Insomnia symptom severity modulates the impact of sleep deprivation on attentional biases to emotional information. Cognit Ther Res 2017; 41(6):842–852 .
Cognit Ther Res
The present study evaluated the effect of experimental sleep deprivation on attentional biases to emotional information among a sample of 40 healthy, young adults. Participants were randomized into either a total sleep deprivation (i.e., 28 consecutive hours awake) or sleep control (i.e., 8-h sleep opportunity) condition. Participants also completed a modified version of the Dot Probe Task to assess attentional biases to positive and negative information and the insomnia severity index (ISI) to assess current insomnia symptom severity. While controlling for ISI scores, acute sleep deprivation was not associated with a greater bias to negative stimuli. In contrast, sleep deprivation predicted a significantly reduced bias to positive stimuli, but only among participants with relative low ISI scores. The present findings suggest that young adults with low levels of insomnia symptoms are particularly susceptible to the effects of sleep deprivation; such that acute sleep loss can reduce their natural tendencies to attend to positive information in the environment.