Prevalence and risk factors of excessive daytime sleepiness in major depression: A study with 703 individuals referred for polysomnography

J Affect Disord. 2019 Jan 15;243:23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.09.016. Epub 2018 Sep 11.


Background: To date, few studies have investigated the prevalence and risk factors of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in major depression. Thus, the aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence and risk factors of EDS in a large sample of individuals with major depression.

Methods: Data from 703 individuals with major depression were retrospectively collected from the sleep laboratory research database of Erasme Hospital for analysis. A score of > 10 on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale was used as the cut-off for EDS. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the clinical and demographic risk factors of EDS in major depression.

Results: The prevalence of EDS in our sample was 50.8%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the following were significant risk factors of EDS in major depression: non-use of short to intermediate half-life benzodiazepine receptor agonists, BMI ≥ 25 kg/m², age < 60 years, C-reactive protein > 7 mg/L, Beck Depression Inventory score ≥ 16, atypical depression, apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 15/h, and use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Limitations: To evaluate EDS, we used the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, which only allows for a subjective measure of daytime sleepiness.

Conclusion: EDS is a common symptom in individuals with major depression. In this subpopulation, interventions are possible for most risk factors of EDS, which justifies improved management of this symptom to avoid its negative consequences.

Keywords: Excessive daytime sleepiness; Major depression; Prevalence; Risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / complications*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / epidemiology*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleepiness*