Sleep difficulties are associated with increased symptoms of psychopathology

Olga Tkachenko, Elizabeth A. Olson, Mareen Weber, Lily A. Preer, Hannah Gogel, William D.S. Killgore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Sleep problems often co-occur with psychopathological conditions and affective dysregulation. Individuals with mood disorders have significantly higher rates of sleep disturbances than healthy individuals, and among those with mood disorders, sleep problems are associated with lower rates of remission and response to treatment. Sleep disruption may itself be a risk factor for various forms of psychopathology, as experimental sleep deprivation has been found to lead to increased affective, cognitive, and somatic symptoms within healthy volunteers. However, little is known about the relationship between recurring sleep complaints in a naturalistic environment and symptoms of psychopathology among healthy individuals. In the present study, 49 healthy adults (21 males and 28 females) reported sleep quality and completed the Personality Assessment Inventory, a standardized self-report assessment of symptoms of psychopathology. Consistent with prior published findings during total sleep deprivation, individuals endorsing self-reported naturally occurring sleep problems showed higher scores on scales measuring somatic complaints, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, the reported frequency of sleep disturbance was closely linked with the severity of self-reported symptoms. While causal directionality cannot be inferred, these findings support the notion that sleep and emotional functioning are closely linked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1567-1574
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Emotion
  • Insomnia
  • Psychopathology
  • Sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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