Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Insomnia is a common health complaint world-wide. Insomnia is a risk factor in the development of other psychological and physiological disorders. Therefore understanding the mechanisms which predispose an individual to developing insomnia has great transdiagnostic value. However, whilst it is largely accepted that a vulnerable phenotype exists there is a lack of research which aims to systematically assess the make-up of this phenotype. This review outlines the research to-date, considering familial aggregation and the genetics and psychology of stress-reactivity. A model will be presented in which negative affect (neuroticism) and genetics (5HTTLPR) are argued to lead to disrupted sleep via an increase in stress-reactivity, and further that the interaction of these variables leads to an increase in learned negative associations, which further increase the likelihood of poor sleep and the development of insomnia. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Sleep Medicine Reviews

Publication Date





237 - 247