Which psychiatric conditions cause sleep-wake disorders?

Updated: Aug 21, 2019
  • Author: Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Answer

It should be borne in mind in mind that the major psychiatric conditions now are known to have a biologic basis and thus constitute a subset of medical conditions.

Depression may cause alterations in REM sleep. As many as 40% of people with depression have insomnia. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can produce vivid and terrifying nightmares. Anxiety disorders predispose to insomnia. The most common of these are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and anxiety disorders not otherwise specified. Thought disorders and misperception of sleep state are other potential states that cause insomnia.

Psychotropic medications, such as antidepressants, may interfere with normal REM sleep patterns. Rebound insomnia from benzodiazepines or other hypnotic agents is common.


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