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Sleep Spindles Predict Stress-Related Increases in Sleep Disturbances


Sleep Spindles Predict Stress-Related Increases in Sleep Disturbances

Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh, Salimi, Ali, Boucetta, Soufiane, Wenzel, Kerstin, O'Byrne, Jordan, Brandewinder, Marie, Berthomier, Christian and Gouin, Jean-Philippe (2015) Sleep Spindles Predict Stress-Related Increases in Sleep Disturbances. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9 . ISSN 1662-5161

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00068


Background and Aim: Predisposing factors place certain individuals at higher risk for insomnia, especially in the presence of precipitating conditions such as stressful life events. Sleep spindles have been shown to play an important role in the preservation of sleep continuity. Lower spindle density might thus constitute an objective predisposing factor for sleep reactivity to stress. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the relationship between baseline sleep spindle density and the prospective change in insomnia symptoms in response to a standardized academic stressor.

Methods: Twelve healthy students had a polysomnography recording during a period of lower stress at the beginning of the academic semester, along with an assessment of insomnia complaints using the insomnia severity index (ISI). They completed a second ISI assessment at the end of the semester, a period coinciding with the week prior to final examinations and thus higher stress. Spindle density, amplitude, duration, and frequency, as well as sigma power were computed from C4–O2 electroencephalography derivation during stages N2–N3 of non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep, across the whole night and for each NREM sleep period. To test for the relationship between spindle density and changes in insomnia symptoms in response to academic stress, spindle measurements at baseline were correlated with changes in ISI across the academic semester.

Results: Spindle density (as well as spindle amplitude and sigma power), particularly during the first NREM sleep period, negatively correlated with changes in ISI (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Lower spindle activity, especially at the beginning of the night, prospectively predicted larger increases in insomnia symptoms in response to stress. This result indicates that individual differences in sleep spindle activity contribute to the differential vulnerability to sleep disturbances in the face of precipitating factors.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Exercise Science
Item Type:Article
Authors:Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh and Salimi, Ali and Boucetta, Soufiane and Wenzel, Kerstin and O'Byrne, Jordan and Brandewinder, Marie and Berthomier, Christian and Gouin, Jean-Philippe
Journal or Publication:Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Concordia Open Access Author Fund
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.3389/fnhum.2015.00068
ID Code:982231
Deposited On:17 Mar 2017 19:26
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54


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