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VOLUME 37, ISSUE 08

REM SLEEP AND THE DURATION OF PTSD IN A YOUNG ADULT POPULATION
A Relationship between REM Sleep Measures and the Duration of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Young Adult Urban Minority Population

http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.3922

Thomas A. Mellman, MD; Ihori Kobayashi, PhD; Joseph Lavela, BS; Bryonna Wilson, BS; Tyish S. Hall Brown, PhD

Howard University College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Howard University, Washington, DC



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Study Objective:

To determine relationships of polysomnographic (PSG) measures with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a young adult, urban African American population.

Design:

Cross-sectional, clinical and laboratory evaluation.

Setting:

Community recruitment, evaluation in the clinical research unit of an urban University hospital.

Participants:

Participants (n = 145) were Black, 59.3% female, with a mean age of 23.1 y (SD = 4.8). One hundred twenty-one participants (83.4%) met criteria for trauma exposure, the most common being nonsexual violence. Thirty-nine participants (26.9%) met full (n = 19) or subthreshold criteria (n = 20) for current PTSD, 41 (28.3%) had met lifetime PTSD criteria and were recovered, and 65 (45%) were negative for PTSD.

Measurements and Results:

Evaluations included the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and 2 consecutive nights of overnight PSG. Analysis of variance did not reveal differences in measures of sleep duration and maintenance, percentage of sleep stages, and the latency to and duration of uninterrupted segments of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep by study group. There were significant relationships between the duration of PTSD and REM sleep percentage (r = 0.53, P = 0.001), REM segment length (r = 0.43, P = 0.006), and REM sleep latency (r = -0.34, P < 0.03) among those with current PTSD that persisted when removing cases with, or controlling for, depression.

Conclusions:

The findings are consistent with observations in the literature of fragmented and reduced REM sleep with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relatively proximate to trauma exposure and nondisrupted or increased REM sleep with chronic PTSD.

Citation:

Mellman TA, Kobayashi I, Lavela J, Wilson B, Hall Brown TS. A relationship between REM sleep measures and the duration of posttraumatic stress disorder in a young adult urban minority population. SLEEP 2014;37(8):1321-1326.

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