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, 9 (2), 68-85

Event-related Potentials During the Transition to Sleep for Individuals With Sleep-Onset Insomnia

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Event-related Potentials During the Transition to Sleep for Individuals With Sleep-Onset Insomnia

Rona S Kertesz et al. Behav Sleep Med.

Abstract

Event-related potentials may be applied to directly measure information-processing deficits associated with the problem of insomnia. This study is a systematic investigation of cortical hyperarousal during the sleep-onset period in participants with sleep-onset insomnia complaints. Thirteen poor sleepers and twelve good sleepers (GS) were administered an oddball task while awake in the morning and evening and during repeated sleep-onset attempts. Participants signaled detection of a higher pitch target tone as they fell asleep. P2 amplitude was significantly smaller for poor sleepers compared to GS, following standard stimuli at all fronto-central sites, in the pre-sleep waking period at sleep onset. Groups did not differ for N1, N350, or P300 in wake, Stage 1, or Stage 2. The smaller P2 indicates that poor sleepers failed to inhibit the irrelevant standard stimuli. This hyper-attentiveness may explain chronic problems with sleep initiation and could be the target of behavioral and pharmaceutical treatment strategies.

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