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Acute and Chronic Insomnia: What Has Time and/or Hyperarousal Got to Do with It?
Open AccessArticle

Hyperarousal Is Associated with Socioemotional Processing in Individuals with Insomnia Symptoms and Good Sleepers

Psychology Department, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(2), 112;
Received: 14 January 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 18 February 2020 / Published: 20 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insomnia: Beyond Hyperarousal)
Despite complaints of difficulties in waking socioemotional functioning by individuals with insomnia, only a few studies have investigated emotion processing performance in this group. Additionally, the role of sleep in socioemotional processing has not been investigated extensively nor using quantitative measures of sleep. Individuals with insomnia symptoms (n = 14) and healthy good sleepers (n = 15) completed two nights of at-home polysomnography, followed by an afternoon of in-lab performance testing on tasks measuring the processing of emotional facial expressions. The insomnia group self-reported less total sleep time, but no other group differences in sleep or task performance were observed. Greater beta EEG power throughout the night was associated with higher intensity ratings of happy, fearful and sad faces for individuals with insomnia, yet blunted sensitivity and lower accuracy for good sleepers. Thus, the presence of hyperarousal differentially impacted socioemotional processing of faces in individuals with insomnia symptoms and good sleepers. View Full-Text
Keywords: insomnia; hyperarousal; emotion processing insomnia; hyperarousal; emotion processing
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Howlett, R.D.M.; Lustig, K.A.; MacDonald, K.J.; Cote, K.A. Hyperarousal Is Associated with Socioemotional Processing in Individuals with Insomnia Symptoms and Good Sleepers. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 112.

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