Effects of comorbid diagnoses on sleep disturbance in PTSD

Gregory A. Leskin, Steven H. Woodward, Helena E. Young, Javaid Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are frequently diagnosed with other psychiatric comorbid conditions. This study tested the hypothesis that PTSD patients suffer a greater proportion of sleep problems according to comorbid diagnoses. Method: National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) data from 591 individuals diagnosed with PTSD were analyzed. Revised versions of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and Composite International Diagnostic Interview were administered to a representative sample of males and females. Groups consisted of patients diagnosed with lifetime PTSD and with current comorbid panic disorder, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and alcohol dependence. Results: Patients diagnosed with PTSD/panic disorder reported a significantly greater proportion of nightmare complaints (96%) and insomnia (100%) compared with the other comorbid groups. Conclusions: A greater proportion of PTSD patients with comorbid panic disorder complain of sleep-related problems than other comorbid groups. This effect appears unique to panic, rather than other general anxiety disorder or depression. Prospective sleep studies are needed to differentiate the role of sleep in PTSD and PD, as well as to examine the role of psychiatric comorbidity in worsening sleep in PTSD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-452
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Comorbidity
  • Nightmares
  • Panic
  • PTSD
  • Sleep
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

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