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