A new study from King's College London has found that a lack of good night's sleep can lead to paranoia.
The researchers have found that almost 70 per cent of the people, who admitted to suffering paranoia, had difficulty sleeping.
The study also showed that over 50 per cent of psychiatric patients who all experienced feelings of persecution, suffered from moderate to severe insomnia.
A few nights of poor sleep can make us feel stressed, muddled in our thinking and disconnected from the world, the Telegraph quoted Dr Daniel Freeman, from King's College London, as saying.
These are ideal conditions for paranoid fears to take hold. Regular, good-quality sleep is important to our psychological well-being, he added.
During the study, 300 healthy people and 30 psychiatric patients completed questionnaires designed to highlight symptoms of insomnia and paranoia.
The results were clear: higher levels of insomnia were associated with higher levels of persecutory thinking, he said.
Freeman said the research indicates that tackling the problem of insomnia could help cut the risk of paranoia.
The good news is that there are several, tried-and-tested ways to overcome insomnia, he said.
In particular, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has proven benefits. The intriguing implication of the research is that use of the sleep techniques may also make us feel safer and less mistrustful during the day.
A good night's sleep may simply make us view the world in a much more positive light, he added.
The study appears in journal Schizophrenia Research: