Cognitions and Insomnia Subgroups

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This study explored cognitive predictors of multiple symptoms of insomnia (difficulty with sleep initiation, maintenance, and early morning awakenings) among a sample of individuals seeking cognitive-behavior therapy for insomnia. Participants consisted of 146 clinical patients with insomnia of which 67 (45.89%) were classified as Single Symptoms subgroup and 79 (54.11%) as Combined subgroup. A receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis was conducted to identify predictors of Combined versus Single Symptom subgroups. The set of predictor variables included demographics, sleep-related cognitions, circadian preferences, depression symptoms, and self-report sleep parameters with insomnia subgroups (Combined versus Single Symptom only) as the dependent variable. The ROC analysis identified two significant predictors: Self Efficacy Scale (SES) <23 and a 3-item subscale of the Glasgow Content of Thoughts Inventory (GCTI) assessing “thoughts about the environment” with scores ≥5. Post-hoc comparisons revealed that individuals with combined symptoms who had SES score <23 had significantly longer sleep onset latency (SOL) and more number of nights with SOL >30 min, poorer sleep quality, higher insomnia severity, less morningness tendency, higher depression symptom severity, and more anxiety about anxiety and about sleep compared to individuals with SES score ≥23. These findings indicate that low self-efficacy and increased thoughts about the environment are associated with having multiple symptoms of insomnia. Further research should examine the specific role of self-efficacy and thought content in the etiology of individuals who suffer from multiple symptoms of insomnia.

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