Sleep Disorders: Impact on Daytime Functioning and Quality of Life

András Szentkirályi, MD; Csilla Z Madarász, MD; Márta Novák, MD, PhD


Expert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2009;9(1):49-64. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


This article provides an overview of the daytime symptoms associated with the most common sleep disorders, namely insomnia, restless legs syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and shift wake-sleep disorder. Psychological and social dysfunction resulting from these sleep disturbances are explained and discussed in detail. Health-related quality of life is a concept that reflects the changes in diverse aspects of subjective wellbeing of the patients due to an illness. Therefore, studies reporting quality-of-life issues associated with the aforementioned sleep disorders will also be presented. Finally, we review the limited data regarding the effects of treatment on quality-of-life outcomes.


Many patients with sleep disorders seek medical attention because of daytime symptoms or negative consequences of sleep disruption, which suggests that the night-time symptoms may be less bothersome than the daytime consequences of sleep problems. Increasing amounts of research data in sleep medicine suggest that sleep disorders impair the physical, psychological and social aspects of wellbeing. Despite the growing interest in sleep medicine and research, the relationship between sleep disorders and various daytime symptoms often remain unrecognized in everyday clinical practice.

Recently, patient-reported outcomes have become increasingly accepted as relevant end points in clinical trials and in the evaluation of healthcare services[1]. This has led to the development of several questionnaires that aim to quantify self-perceptions concerning general health, functional wellbeing and various dimensions of quality of life (QoL). Increasing amounts of evidence support the notion that sleep-wake disorders are associated with impaired daytime wellbeing and functioning.

This article examines the various daytime consequences, psychosocial burden and impairment in QoL caused by some of the most common chronic sleep disorders, namely insomnia, restless legs syndrome (RLS), obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and shiftwork-related sleep disorder.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.