The Effect of Anxiety and Depression on Sleep Quality of Individuals With High Risk for Insomnia: A Population-Based Study

Front Neurol. 2019 Aug 13;10:849. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00849. eCollection 2019.


Introduction: One of the most common sleep disorders, insomnia is a significant public health concern. Several psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders and depression, have shown strong relationships with insomnia. However, the clinical impact of the combination of these two conditions on insomnia severity and sleep quality remains unknown. We investigated the relationship between sleep disturbance and psychiatric comorbidities in subjects with high risk for insomnia. Methods: We analyzed data from a nation-wide cross-sectional survey of Korean adults aged 19 ~ 69 years conducted from November 2011 to January 2012. The survey was performed via face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. We used the insomnia severity index (ISI) to evaluate insomnia and defined respondents with ISI scores of ≥10 were considered to be at high risk for insomnia. To diagnose anxiety and depression, we used the Goldberg anxiety scale (GAS) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), respectively. Results: Of the 2,762 respondents, 290 (10.5%) were classified as subjects with high risk for insomnia; anxiety [odds ratio (OR), 9.8; 95% confidence interval (CI), 7.3-13.1] and depression (OR, 19.7; 95% CI, 13.1-29.6) were more common in this population than in participants without insomnia. Of the participants with insomnia, 152 (52.4%) had neither anxiety nor depression, 63 (21.7%) only had anxiety, 21 (7.2%) only had depression, and 54 (18.6%) had both anxiety and depression. The group with both anxiety and depression was associated with worse scores on sleep-related scales than the other groups [high ISI, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Epworth Sleepiness Scale]. The relationship between outcome measures (ISI and PSQI) and psychiatric problems was significant only when anxiety and depression were present. The PSQI has a significant mediation effect on the relationship between psychiatric comorbidities and insomnia severity. Conclusion: Among the respondents with insomnia, psychiatric comorbidities may have a negative impact on daytime alertness, general sleep quality, and insomnia severity, especially when the two conditions are present at the same time. Clinicians should, therefore, consider psychiatric comorbidities when treating insomnia.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; insomnia; mood disorder; sleep quality.