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Ellemarije Altena et al. dans Brain Sci.

Comment les facteurs de vulnérabilité de l’insomnie changent avec l’âge: résultats d’une étude sur une cohorte canadienne

Le 31 mai 2017

How Hyperarousal and Sleep Reactivity Are Represented in Different Adult Age Groups: Results from a Large Cohort Study on Insomnia. Altena E, Chen IY, Daviaux Y, Ivers H, Philip P, Morin CM. Brain Sci. 2017 Apr 14;7(4). pii: E41. doi: 10.3390 / brainsci 7040041.

Cette publication est le fruit d'une collaboration entre Quebec (Université Laval) et Bordeaux (Université Bordeaux). Le séjour du Prof. Morin en 2016 était financé par un "Grant Visiting Scholar " de l'IdEx Bordeaux

 Chronic insomnia is a prevalent and health-threatening condition: sleeping poorly for at least 3 nights a week for at least 3 months puts people at higher risk of developing depression and cardiovascular problems. Being very affected by stressful events during the day puts one at higher risk of developing insomnia than those that are less easily stressed. This ‘arousal’ can be measured by the Arousal Predisposition Scale. Moreover, lying awake at night before or after a stressful event also puts one at higher risk to develop chronic insomnia. This proneness to experience sleep disturbances when faced with a stressful situation, called sleep reactivity, can be measured by the Ford Insomnia Response to Stress Test. From previous research we know that throughout adulthood, stress reactions diminish in strength immediately after an event, but also that delayed stress reactions are similar between younger and older adults. Whether stress affects sleep differently with age is however not well known.

     Since insomnia becomes more prevalent with increasing age, we investigated in this international collaboration how both of these insomnia risk factors contribute to sleep problems in a large representative cohort of adults between 25 and 55 years of age (n=1693). We further investigated how these risk factors are represented within three separate age groups: those between 25-35 years of age (n=448), between 35-45 years of age (n=528) and between 45-55 years of age (n=717).

     As we expected, levels of both arousal and sleep reactivity were higher depending on sleep complaints. Those without sleep complaints (n=931) scored much lower on both risk factors than those with some insomnia symptoms (n=450) while this group differed significantly on both factors from those with full insomnia syndrome (n=312). Comparing the different age groups, we found that scores for arousal were lower with ascending age. However, sleep reactivity scores were similar between all age groups.

     These results from a large representative cohort study show that even if daytime stress may reduce with age, whether or not one lies awake at night from stressful events might remain the same with age. Reducing this risk factor of insomnia is thus important in all age groups and calls for customized sleep therapy, focused not only on improving sleep but also on regulating delayed stress reactions. Within the same collaboration, we are aiming on including a larger age range as well as investigating both subjective and objective measures of sleep quality and stress to verify and extend these findings.

Dr. Ellemarije Altena /Team Leader CENS (Cognitive and Emotional Neuroimaging of Sleep) SANPSY- USR CNRS 3413- Sommeil, Addiction et Neuropsychiatrie /Université de Bordeaux (neurosci.ealtena @
Dernière mise à jour le 01.06.2017