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Sleep Med. 2003 Jul;4(4):343-5.

Sleep disorders and depressive feelings: a global survey with the Beck depression scale.

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Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders, MCH Westeinde Hospital, Lijnbaan 32, Postbox 432, 2501 CK, Den Haag, The Netherlands.



Patients with (chronic) sleep disorders are prone to depression. Until now studies on the prevalence of depression in the various sleep disorders focused mainly on obstructive sleep apnea patients and narcolepsy. Studies in other common sleep disorders are scarce. The aim of our study was to estimate the prevalence of depressive feelings in the various sleep disorders diagnosed in a Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders.


We included 917 consecutive patients (age between 14 and 84 years, median age: 49, 396 male and 521 female), seen in our center for sleep and wake disorders during 2001 and first half of 2002. The diagnosis was based on the history taken at the outpatient-clinic and two consecutive 24-h polysomnographic recordings at home (APSG). The final decisions on the diagnosis were made according to the ASDA international classification of sleep disorders. The severity of depressive feelings was based on the Beck depression scale.


Overall, the prevalence of depressive feelings was high. There were no significant differences in age and gender. In psychophysiological insomnia, inadequate sleep- and wake hygiene, sleep state misperception and periodic limb movement disorder/restless legs syndrome some form of depression occurred in more than half of the patients. Moderate to severe depression was found in 3.5% of the patients.


The study suggests that the use of a depression scale in the daily routine of diagnosing and treating sleep disorders should be encouraged in order to optimise diagnosis and therapy in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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