Propensity for Anxiety Predicts Sleep Disturbance Onset

Anxious patients more likely to experience insomnia in six months after a stressful life event

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- People with a propensity for anxiety are at especially high risk of sleep disturbances during the six months after experiencing a negative life event, researchers report in the November issue of Sleep.

Jussi Vahtera, M.D., of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues conducted a five-year longitudinal observational cohort study of 16,627 subjects with undisturbed sleep and 2,572 subjects with disturbed sleep at baseline.

The researchers found that men who were liable to anxiety were significantly more likely than those not liable to anxiety to develop sleep disturbances in the six months after a stressful event (odds ratios, 3.11 and 1.13, respectively). They also found that men and women who were liable to anxiety were significantly more likely than those not liable to anxiety to develop sleep disturbances in the six months after a divorce (ORs, 2.05 and 1.47, respectively). The effects of total or specific life events on sleep after six months were not dependent on liability to anxiety, the authors state.

"Thus, partial support was found for the hypothesis that predisposing traits would increase the risk of sleep disturbances in the aftermath of stressful life events," the authors conclude.

Abstract
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