Which medical and psychiatric history findings are characteristic of sleep dysfunction in women?

Updated: Jan 31, 2019
  • Author: Gila Hertz, PhD, ABSM; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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This is an important part of sleep history and should include a thorough investigation of present and past medications that potentially can interfere with sleep, such as antihypertensive medication.

A number of medical conditions potentially can disturb sleep and need to be ruled out. These include chronic cardiac or lung disease, thyroid disease, gastroesophageal reflux, chronic pain, and other conditions.

Similarly, psychiatric history should include information regarding previous hospitalization, present and past use of psychoactive medication, and history of alcohol and drug abuse.

Insomnia, especially with early morning awakening, is one of the most common symptoms of depression. Women who suffer from anxiety disorder or chronic stress may also sleep poorly.

Women with sleep apnea often present with other, concomitant sleep disorders, such as RLS and insomnia. The relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension and between sleep apnea and insulin resistance render these conditions suspicious for OSA comorbidity.

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