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Sleep. 1988 Feb;11(1):54-60.

Daytime alertness in patients with chronic insomnia compared with asymptomatic control subjects.

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Sleep Disorders and Research Center, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.


Despite the subjective reports of patients with difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep (DIMS) that they are impaired during the day, consistent differences in daytime functions have not been found between normal sleepers and patients with insomnia. The present study compares polysomnography and Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) data from 70 clinic patients seeking evaluation for chronic insomnia with data from a group of 45 asymptomatic sleepers. The DIMS group was found to sleep significantly less than the control group; yet they were also significantly more alert than the control group the following day, as measured by MSLT. Within the insomnia diagnostic subgroups, a correlation of -0.67 (p less than 0.05) was found between nocturnal total sleep time and mean MSLT. The results are interpreted as supporting the existence of a tendency towards physiological hyperarousal in patients with chronic insomnia. This tendency may be exacerbated by other factors (e.g., personality disorder, periodic leg movements) also associated with insomnia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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