Michael Thorpy, MD, director, Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, Montefiore Medical Center, and professor of neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, speaks on the common occurrence of other comorbidities in patients with chronic insomnia.
Patients with chronic insomnia often have other comorbid conditions pertaining to psychiatric or medical issues, as well as several other sleep disorders, said Michael Thorpy, MD, director, Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, Montefiore Medical Center, and professor of neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
How can other comorbid sleep disorders exacerbate the effects of chronic insomnia?
Insomnia rarely occurs just by itself. Usually, there's something else that's going on. Often it may be a psychological, psychiatric problem, or a medical problem, but there are a number of other sleep disorders that can coexist with insomnia.
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is one that we're particularly concerned about these days because of the increased weight of the population. So, many people with insomnia have some sleep apnea.
It's usually when they have significant sleep apnea, they're more tired and fatigued, sleepy, and less complaining about nighttime sleep—unless they’re elderly. The elderly very often with their sleep apnea will tend to complain about nighttime sleep and have complaints of insomnia.