Emotion Regulation Does Not Improve Insomnia-Induced Depression

The researchers examined the relationship between insomnia, depression, and emotion regulation in a 14-day study.

Although emotion regulation (ER) plays a role in depression, it doesn’t mitigate insomnia’s negative impact on mood according to study findings presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, held from June 4 to 8, 2022, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Previous studies have shown clear relationships between insomnia and depression; however, few have explored the potential mitigating impact of ER. The researchers examined the relationship between insomnia, depression, and ER in a 14-day study.

The researchers recruited 60 adults (65% women) with insomnia symptoms greater or equal to 10 on the Insomnia Severity Index scale. They filled out morning and evening diaries and wore an actigraph for 14 days. In the diaries, they reported their sleep from the previous night, their emotional reactivity, their ER strategy use, and depression symptoms.

Shorter sleep time on 1 night was associated with greater next-day depression symptoms. Poor sleep quality was also associated with depression. Negative reactivity partly mediated relationships between sleep quality, sleep time, sleep efficiency, and depression. They did not find evidence of a benefit of ER at an individual level, indicating ER strategy use may not affect the impact of insomnia on depression.


Tsui HTC, Chan WS. Daily associations between insomnia and depression: emotion regulation as a mediator. Presented at SLEEP 2022; June 4-8; Charlotte, North Carolina. Abstract 651.