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Abstract

Although sleep disturbance is considered a hallmark of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), objective evidence for sleep disturbance in patients with PTSD has been equivocal. The goal of the current investigation was to objectively examine sleep disturbance among women with PTSD in their home environment. Women with PTSD (n = 30) and a control group (n = 22) completed three nights of actigraphy monitoring. Results from actigraphy indicated that women with PTSD had poorer sleep efficiency, increased sleep latency, and more restless sleep. Actigraphy measures were moderately correlated with self-report sleep-log data, but were unrelated to scores on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. The current study provides evidence that women with PTSD have objectively measured sleep disturbance in their normal environment at home. Disturbed sleep may have important implications for the health and well-being of individuals with PTSD.