Patterns of Intrahemispheric EEG Asymmetry in Insomnia Sufferers: An Exploratory Study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Brain Sci, Volume 10, Issue 12 (2020)


<p>Individuals with insomnia present unique patterns of electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry between homologous regions of each brain hemisphere, yet few studies have assessed asymmetry within the same hemisphere. Increase in intrahemispheric asymmetry during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in good sleepers (GS) and disruption of REM sleep in insomnia sufferers (INS) both point out that this activity may be involved in the pathology of insomnia. The objective of the present exploratory study was to evaluate and quantify patterns of fronto-central, fronto-parietal, fronto-occipital, centro-parietal, centro-occipital and parieto-occipital intrahemispheric asymmetry in GS and INS, and to assess their association with sleep-wake misperception, daytime anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as insomnia severity. This paper provides secondary analysis of standard EEG recorded in 43 INS and 19 GS for three nights in a sleep laboratory. Asymmetry measures were based on EEG power spectral analysis within 0.3-60 Hz computed between pairs of regions at frontal, central, parietal and occipital derivations. Repeated-measures ANOVAs were performed to assess group differences. Exploratory correlations were then performed on asymmetry and sleep-wake misperception, as well as self-reported daytime anxiety and depressive symptoms, and insomnia severity. INS presented increased delta and theta F3/P3 asymmetry during REM sleep compared with GS, positively associated with depressive and insomnia complaints. INS also exhibited decreased centro-occipital (C3/O1, C4/O2) and parieto-occipital (P3-O1, P4/O2) theta asymmetry during REM. These findings suggest that INS present specific patterns of intrahemispheric asymmetry, partially related to their clinical symptoms. Future studies may investigate the extent to which asymmetry is related to sleep-wake misperception or memory impairments.</p>

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