Psychological correlates of sleep apnea

J Psychosom Res. 1999 Dec;47(6):583-96. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(99)00062-8.


Relationships were examined between psychological and sleep variables in individuals with sleep apnea (n=72, 24 with hypertension; Respiratory Disturbance Index=15) and without sleep apnea (n=40, 16 with hypertension; respiratory disturbance index<15). Subjects were 32-64 years old, 100-150% of ideal weight, with no other major illness. For subjects with sleep apnea, depression, anger, and total mood disturbance correlated positively with deep sleep, rapid eye movement sleep, and/or hypoxemia. For subjects without sleep apnea, vigor correlated positively with sleep quantity and negatively with hypoxemia. When age, body mass, and hypertension were controlled, results changed little for subjects without sleep apnea; for subjects with sleep apnea, depression and total mood disturbance no longer correlated with sleep measures. Although various psychological measures correlate with sleep variables in sleep apnea subjects, many are explained by controlling age, body mass, and hypertension. Anger and vigor, however, remain associated with sleep variables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anger / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / psychology*
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / blood
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / psychology*
  • Time Factors