DOI: 10.1111/jsr.14001 ISSN: 0962-1105

Interactions between insomnia, sleep duration and emotional processes: An ecological momentary assessment of longitudinal influences combining self‐report and physiological measures

Chiara Baglioni, Anna F. Johann, Fee Benz, Lisa Steinmetz, Debora Meneo, Lukas Frase, Marion Kuhn, Michelle Ohler, Sonja Huart, Nathalie Speiser, Brunna Tuschen‐Caffier, Dieter Riemann, Bernd Feige
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • General Medicine


Previous studies indicated that further investigation is needed to understand how insomnia disorder interacts with emotional processes. The present study is an ecological momentary assessment evaluating the link between emotional and sleep alterations in patients with insomnia. Physiological (heart rate and heart rate variability) and subjective (sleep and emotions) indices were observed for 5 days in patients with insomnia disorder (n = 97), good sleepers under self‐imposed sleep restriction (n = 41), and good sleepers with usual amount of sleep (n = 45). We evaluated differences in emotion regulation strategies and in valence and variability of emotional experiences. Over 5 days, patients with insomnia showed increased sleep and emotional difficulties compared with both control groups. Independent from group allocation, days with more negative emotions were associated with higher sleep alterations. Longer wake episodes at night and higher diurnal heart rate were associated with increased variations in emotion experienced during the day. Only in patients with insomnia, use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies was associated with higher sleep efficiency. Our data showed that alterations in sleep and emotional processes are closely linked. A combination of strategies targeting both sleep and emotional processes appears promising in the prevention and treatment of insomnia disorder.

More from our Archive