Insomnia and Personality-A Network Approach

Kim Dekker, Tessa F Blanken, Eus J W Van Someren

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Studies on personality traits and insomnia have remained inconclusive about which traits show the most direct associations with insomnia severity. It has moreover hardly been explored how traits relate to specific characteristics of insomnia. We here used network analysis in a large sample (N= 2089) to obtain an integrated view on the associations of personality traits with both overall insomnia severity and different insomnia characteristics, while distinguishing direct from indirect associations. We first estimated a network describing the associations among the five factor model personality traits and overall insomnia severity. Overall insomnia severity was associated with neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness. Subsequently, we estimated a separate network describing the associations among the personality traits and each of the seven individual items of the Insomnia Severity Index. This revealed relatively separate clusters of daytime and nocturnal insomnia complaints, that both contributed to dissatisfaction with sleep, and were both most directly associated with neuroticism and conscientiousness. The approach revealed the strongest direct associations between personality traits and the severity of different insomnia characteristics and overall insomnia severity. Differentiating them from indirect associations identified the targets for improving Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia with the highest probability of effectively changing the network of associated complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalBrain sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2017


  • Journal Article


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