Managing Stress-related Insomnia
Among the various psychiatric disordersthat can cause a sleep disorder,anxiety disorders are the most prevalentin the general community. In fact,an anxiety disorder is present in 15% to20% of all patients seeking health care.
According to the authors of a reviewof the impact of psychiatric conditionson sleep quality and quantity, publishedin Seminars in Neurology in 2005, identifyingand effectively managing thesleep issues associated with anxietydisorders is not easy. Treatment plansshould take into account the uniquecharacteristics of each patient's sleepcomplaints, as well as the effect sleepaids and other medications may haveon his or her sleep.
Here are a few of the sleep-relatedproblems these patients may experience:
- Patients with generalized anxietydisorder often have increased muscletension and are unable to consciouslyrelax
- Arousal due to a panic attack,although rare, can occur duringnon-rapid eye movement sleep
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, characterizedby chronic hyperarousaland anxiety, commonly is associatedwith insomnia or nightmares