Insomnia and paranoia.
Freeman D., Pugh K., Vorontsova N., Southgate L.
Insomnia is a potential cause of anxiety, depression, and anomalies of experience; separate research has shown that anxiety, depression and anomalies of experience are predictors of paranoia. Thus insomnia may contribute to the formation and maintenance of persecutory ideation. The aim was to examine for the first time the association of insomnia symptoms and paranoia in the general population and the extent of insomnia in individuals with persecutory delusions attending psychiatric services. Assessments of insomnia, persecutory ideation, anxiety, and depression were completed by 300 individuals from the general population and 30 individuals with persecutory delusions and a diagnosis of non-affective psychosis. Insomnia symptoms were clearly associated with higher levels of persecutory ideation. Consistent with the theoretical understanding of paranoia, the association was partly explained by the presence of anxiety and depression. Moderate or severe insomnia was present in more than 50% of the delusions group. The study provides the first direct evidence that insomnia is common in individuals with high levels of paranoia. It is plausible that sleep difficulties contribute to the development of persecutory ideation. The intriguing implication is that insomnia interventions for this group could have the added benefit of lessening paranoia.