Polysomnographically measured sleep abnormalities in PTSD: A meta-analytic review


  • Preparation of this article was supported by NIMH grants R34 MH71201 and R34 MH 73014.

Address reprint requests to: Ihori Kobayashi, P.O. Box 5190, Department of Psychology, Kent, OH 44242, USA. E-mail: ikobayas@kent.edu


Although sleep complaints are common among patients with Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), polysomnographic studies examining sleep abnormalities in PTSD have produced inconsistent results. To clarify discrepant findings, we conducted a meta-analytic review of 20 polysomnographic studies comparing sleep in people with and without PTSD. Results showed that PTSD patients had more stage 1 sleep, less slow wave sleep, and greater rapid-eye-movement density compared to people without PTSD. We also conducted exploratory analyses aimed at examining potential moderating variables (age, sex, and comorbid depression and substance use disorders). Overall, studies with a greater proportion of male participants or a low rate of comorbid depression tended to find more PTSD-related sleep disturbances. These findings suggest that sleep abnormalities exist in PTSD, and that some of the inconsistencies in prior findings may be explained by moderating variables.