A seven day actigraphy-based study of rumination and sleep disturbance among young adults with depressive symptoms.

Journal of psychosomatic research

PubMedID: 24913345

Pillai V, Steenburg LA, Ciesla JA, Roth T, Drake CL. A seven day actigraphy-based study of rumination and sleep disturbance among young adults with depressive symptoms. J Psychosom Res. 2014;77(1):70-5.
OBJECTIVES
Trait ruminators exhibit significantly higher levels of sleep disturbance than those without this cognitive vulnerability. However, support for the sleep disruptive effects of state rumination, especially in the pre-sleep period, is rare, and hindered by methodological drawbacks such as self-report and single night assays of sleep. Finally, despite the pervasiveness of the ruminative response style among individuals with depression, the association between rumination and sleep disturbance has not been explored in this population. The present study employed a week-long daily sampling approach to examine the effects of naturally occurring pre-sleep rumination on self-reported and actigraphy-based sleep among individuals with high depressive symptomatology.

METHODS
Forty-two university students (19.6±3.2yo;73.8% female), all of whom reported at least moderate levels of depressive symptoms, completed a short questionnaire after waking each morning for seven days. On this questionnaire, they self-reported sleep indices from the previous night and levels of engagement in pre-sleep rumination. Sleep was also monitored throughout this period via wrist actigraphy. Hierarchical-linear-modeling was used to examine the association between nightly rumination and sleep.

RESULTS
Nightly variations in pre-sleep rumination were predictive of significantly longer actigraphy- and diary-based sleep onset latency (SOL). Notably, a 1 SD increase on the pre-sleep rumination scale was associated with an approximately 7minute increase in actigraphy-based SOL, even after controlling for baseline sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS
These data offer compelling evidence for the impact of pre-sleep rumination on sleep onset, providing insight into one potential mechanism that triggers sleep disturbance among individuals with depressive symptoms.