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Insomnia Mediates Anxiety-Depression Relationship

Depress Anxiety; ePub 2018 Apr 26; Li, Starr, et al

Anxiety may increase risk for the development of later depression through insomnia, according to a recent study. Researchers utilized data from Waves I, II, and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a nationally representative prospective study conducted over a 14‐year period (n=20,745, 50.5% female, M age at Wave I = 16.20). Participants completed portions of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale at Waves I and IV to assess depressive symptoms, a 6‐item anxiety measure at Wave I, and 3 items assessing insomnia, sleep quality, and sleep duration at Wave II. They found:

  • Structural equation modeling indicated that insomnia and unrestful sleep significantly mediated the relationship between anxiety and subsequent depression.
  • The relationship between anxiety and depression was not significantly mediated by sleep duration.


Li YI, Starr LR, Wray-Lake L. Insomnia mediates the longitudinal relationship between anxiety and depressive symptoms in a nationally representative sample of adolescents. [Published online ahead of print April 26, 2018]. Depress Anxiety. doi:10.1002/da.22764.