Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 511–518

Is Chronic Insomnia a Precursor to Major Depression? Epidemiological and Biological Findings

Authors

    • Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of Freiburg Medical Center
  • Dieter Riemann
    • Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of Freiburg Medical Center
Sleep Disorders (MJ Sateia, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11920-012-0308-5

Cite this article as:
Baglioni, C. & Riemann, D. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2012) 14: 511. doi:10.1007/s11920-012-0308-5

Abstract

Insomnia has been found to be a clinical predictor of subsequent depression. Nevertheless the biological processes underlying this causal relationship are yet not fully understood. Both conditions share a common imbalance of the arousal system. Patients with insomnia present fragmented REM sleep, which probably interferes with basal processes of emotion regulation. The interaction between the arousal and the affective system with the persistence of the disorder could slowly alter also the cognitive system and lead to depression. Although preliminary results seem to support this hypothesis, data are still too few to make valid conclusions.

Keywords

Sleep disordersInsomniaDepressionPredictorSuicideHyperarousalEmotionsREM instabilityCognitive performanceCognitive-behavior treatmentTransdiagnostic hypothesisPsychiatry

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012