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Sleep Med. 2015 May;16(5):659-64. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2015.02.001. Epub 2015 Feb 7.

High-frequency heart rate variability during worry predicts stress-related increases in sleep disturbances.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada; Center for Clinical Research in Health, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada; PERFORM Center, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada. Electronic address: jp.gouin@concordia.ca.
2
Department of Psychology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada.
3
PERFORM Center, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada; Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology and Department of Exercise Science, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada; Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, 4545 chemin Queen-Mary, Montréal H3W 1W5, Canada.
4
Department of Psychology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada; Center for Clinical Research in Health, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada; PERFORM Center, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada; Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology and Department of Exercise Science, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W, Montréal H4B 1R6, Canada; Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, 4545 chemin Queen-Mary, Montréal H3W 1W5, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) during waking restfulness and during worry predicts increases in sleep disturbances in response to a stressful life event.

METHODS:

A longitudinal study following up 22 individuals from well-defined periods of lower and higher stress was conducted. HF-HRV during waking restfulness and in response to a worry induction was measured during a low-stress period. Sleep disturbances were assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) during low-stress and high-stress periods.

RESULTS:

During both the low- and high-stress periods, lower HF-HRV during worry was associated with greater PSQI scores. Importantly, lower HF-HRV during the worry induction prospectively predicted greater increases in the PSQI score from the low-stress to the high-stress periods.

CONCLUSION:

HF-HRV during worry might represent an index of vulnerability to stress-induced sleep disturbances.

KEYWORDS:

Autonomic function; Heart rate variability; Insomnia; Stress; Worry

PMID:
25819418
DOI:
10.1016/j.sleep.2015.02.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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