Frequency of insomnia report in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS)

Sleep Med. 2004 Sep;5(5):449-56. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2004.03.005.


Background and purpose: Insomnia and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Hypopnea Syndrome (OSAHS) are the two most common sleep disorders, and both have significant associated health costs. Despite this, relatively little is known about the prevalence or impact of insomnia in those with OSAHS, although a recent study suggested there may be substantial comorbidity between these disorders [Chest 120 (2001) 1923-9]. The primary aim of this study was to further explore the prevalence of insomnia in OSAHS. A secondary aim was to assess the effect of factors that may impact on both conditions, including mood and sleep-beliefs.

Patients and methods: Consecutive patients referred to an accredited Sleep Investigations Unit [n = 105] completed a brief standardized battery of validated questionnaires assessing sleep-related variables and mood.

Results: Results showed a high rate of prevalence of clinical insomnia in this OSAHS population, and a strong positive correlation between OSAHS and insomnia symptom severity. Further, OSAHS patients with comorbid insomnia had increased levels of depression, anxiety and stress compared to patients with OSAHS-only, and both patient groups reported similar and significant levels of dysfunctional beliefs about sleep. Findings in relation to habitual sleep, assessed using subjective (diary) and objective criteria (polysomnogram), were mixed but generally showed greater sleep disturbance among those with OSAHS-insomnia compared to those with OSAHS-only.

Conclusions: Overall these findings suggest that comorbidity of insomnia in OSAHS patients may lead to increased OSAHS severity and that patients with both conditions may experience more symptoms relating to depression, anxiety and stress. These findings underscore the need for insomnia assessment and management services, even in clinics that primarily service patients with OSAHS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Culture
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology