The Relationship of Sleep Quality and Posttraumatic Stress to Potential Sleep Disorders in Sexual Assault Survivors with Nightmares, Insomnia, and PTSD

Abstract

Sleep quality and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were examined in 151 sexual assault survivors, 77% of whom had previously reported symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) or sleep movement disorders (SMD) or both. Participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Posttraumatic Stress Scale (PSS). High PSQI scores reflected extremely poor sleep quality and correlated with PSS scores. PSQI scores were greater in participants with potential SDB or SMD or both. PSQI or PSS scores coupled with body-mass index and use of antidepressants or anxiolytics predicted potential sleep disorders. The relationship between sleep and posttraumatic stress appears to be more complex than can be explained by the current PTSD paradigm; and, sleep breathing and sleep movement disorders may be associated with this complexity.

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Krakow, B., Germain, A., Warner, T.D. et al. The Relationship of Sleep Quality and Posttraumatic Stress to Potential Sleep Disorders in Sexual Assault Survivors with Nightmares, Insomnia, and PTSD. J Trauma Stress 14, 647–665 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1013029819358

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  • PTSD
  • insomnia
  • nightmares
  • sleep-disordered breathing
  • restless legs
  • periodic limb movements