What is the association of insomnia with depression and anxiety?

Updated: Sep 11, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Insomnia is known to be associated with depression and anxiety. [42] What remains unknown is the nature of the association. For example, insomnia may presage the development of an incipient mood disorder, or mood disorders may independently predispose to insomnia.

In an early study of the association between insomnia and depression and anxiety, Ford and Kamerow found that after adjusting for medical disorders, ethnicity, and sex, patients with insomnia were 9.8 times more likely to have clinically significant depression and 17.3 times more likely to have clinically significant anxiety than persons without insomnia. [42] A meta-analysis by Baglioni et al concluded that in nondepressed people with insomnia, the risk of developing depression is twice as high as in people without sleep difficulties. [63]

Ohayon and Roth found that symptoms of insomnia were reported to occur before the first episode of an anxiety disorder 18% of the time; simultaneously 39% of the time; and after the onset of an anxiety disorder 44% of the time. [64] In addition, insomnia symptoms were reported to occur before the first episode of a mood disorder 41% of the time; simultaneously 29% of the time; and after the onset of a mood disorder 29% of the time.


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