December 1982

The Sleep of Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Neuropharmacology Branch (Drs Insel and Murphy) and the Biological Psychiatry Branch (Drs Gillin, Mendelson, and Loewenstein), National Institute of Mental Health, and the Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute of Aging (Ms Moore), Bethesda, Md. Dr Gillin is now with the University of California, San Diego.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(12):1372-1377. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290120008002

• Fourteen patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were studied with all-night sleep EEG recordings. Nine of these patients reported abnormal sleep patterns before the polygraphic study. Analysis of the sleep records disclosed significantly decreased total sleep time with more awakenings, less stage 4 sleep, decreased rapid-eye-movement (REM) efficiency, and shortened REM latency compared with those of a group of age-and sex-matched normal subjects. These abnormalities generally resembled those of an age-matched group of depressed patients, although significant differences remained. These findings suggest that such sleep abnormalities as shortened REM latency may not be entirely specific for primary affective illness. They also point to a possible biological link between OCD and affective illness.