Previous studies showed enhanced attention and decreased inhibitory processes during early non-rapid eye movement sleep in primary insomnia patients, as measured by event-related potentials. The current study aims to examine information processing during sleep in non-insomniac individuals with high vulnerability (HV) to stress-related sleep disturbances.
Twenty-seven non-insomniac individuals were recruited, 14 with low vulnerability and 13 with HV. After passing a screening interview and polysomnographic recording, subjects came to the sleep laboratory for 2 nights (a baseline night and a stress-inducing night) for event-related potentials recordings.
The HV group demonstrated shorter P2 latency during the first 5 min of stage 2 sleep and higher P900 amplitudes under the stress condition during slow-wave sleep, which indicates an increased level of inhibitory processes. In addition, they had shorter N1 latencies during slow-wave sleep that could indicate an elevated level of attention processing during deep sleep.
Unlike patients with chronic insomnia, individuals with high sleep vulnerability to stress show a compensatory process that may prevent external stimulation from interfering with their sleep. This may be one of the factors preventing their acute sleep disturbances from becoming chronic problems.
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences,69(2),84-92 10.1111/pcn.12206