Chronic insomnia can increase a person’s chances for developing anxiety disorders and depression, according to a study conducted by Dag Neckelmann, MD, PhD, of the Department of Psychiatry at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway.
The study, published in the July 1, 2007, issue of the journal SLEEP, was based on data collected from 25,130 adults from two general health surveys conducted over a 10-year period. Neckelmann found significant associations between the long-term course of chronic insomnia and the development of anxiety disorders and depression.
Compared to the group of participants without chronic insomnia in both surveys, the group with chronic insomnia had increased associations with anxiety disorders and depression. Those subjects who reported that they had insomnia during the initial survey had a higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder during the second phase of the study conducted 10 years later.
The findings were upheld even when factors such as the patients’ age, gender, and educational level were taken into consideration.