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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2005 Jul;193(7):488-93.

Sleep complaints in panic disorder patients.

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Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Patients with anxiety disorders often report difficulty sleeping. The present study assesses the prevalence of sleep complaints in panic disorder (PD) patients, compares them with sleep complaints in a normal population, and investigates the role of comorbid depression and nocturnal panic attacks in sleep complaints in the PD patients. Seventy PD patients and 70 healthy controls were asked about their subjective sleep characteristics by means of the Sleep-Wake Experience List, which assesses sleep/arousal complaints over a 24-hour period. Sixty-seven percent of the PD patients reported sleep complaints, compared with 20% of the controls. Eighty-six percent of the depressed PD patients and 59% of the nondepressed had sleep difficulties; 77% of the PD patients with nocturnal panic attacks reported sleep complaints, versus 53% of the PD patients without nocturnal panic. It is concluded that PD patients demonstrate a higher prevalence of sleep complaints than normal controls; this can only partly be explained by comorbid depression, and cannot be explained by the presence of nocturnal panic attacks.

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