Send to

Choose Destination
Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2007 Apr;257(3):173-82. Epub 2006 Dec 5.

Sleep in obsessive compulsive disorder: polysomnographic studies under baseline conditions and after experimentally induced serotonin deficiency.

Author information

Dept. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Klinikum of the Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg, Germany.


Several lines of evidence suggest that brain serotonergic systems may be disturbed in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The serotonergic system strongly affects sleep and characteristic abnormalities of sleep are documented in depression. This study, therefore, aimed to investigate sleep structure of OCD patients in order to evaluate whether similar changes as in depression are present. Up to now, this issue has been addressed only in few studies with small numbers of patients. Sleep patterns of 62 unmedicated patients with primary OCD and 62 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were investigated by polysomnography. Additionally, the impact of tryptophan depletion on sleep was studied in a subgroup of 12 OCD patients and 12 controls. The OCD patients exhibited moderate, but significant disturbances of sleep continuity measures but no abnormalities of slow wave sleep or REM sleep, except a significant elevation of 1st REM density. Tryptophan depletion induced a worsening of sleep continuity, but no changes of REM sleep or slow wave sleep. Assuming that changes of sleep architecture indicate underlying neurobiological abnormalities, this study indicates that neurobiological disturbances are different in primary OCD as compared with primary depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center