Sleep disturbances in patients with generalized anxiety: a clinical and EEG sleep study.

F Arriaga, T Paiva

Abstract


All night EEG sleep recordings and clinical evaluations of sleep were performed in order to compare patients with generalized anxiety and normal controls. Patients were selected according to DSM III-R criteria and went through a two weeks phase treatment with placebo before the sleep evaluation. As compared to normals, anxious patients showed a fragmented and superficial sleep with no changes of REM sleep features. Further to disturbances of sleep continuity and duration, they had a higher percentage of wake and stage 2, as well as a reduction of slow wave sleep (SWS) mainly due to a diminished percentage of stage 4. Several EEG sleep measures--related both with the amounts of SWS and sleep duration and continuity--are significantly correlated with symptoms severity. The pathogenic significance of sleep disturbances in generalized anxiety is discussed.

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