Abstracts of Oral and Poster Presentations

Sultan Alshahrani

 There is a strong correlation between stress and sleep. Stress causes significant changes to sleep architecture. Sleep disturbances such as nightmare and insomnia are very common complaints among patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Interestingly, recent studies suggest that sleep disturbances are important in predicting later development of PTSD as well as diagnosing PTSD. REM sleep particularly plays a significant role in mediating sleep disturbances among patients with PTSD.

This review will look at the correlation between stress and sleep. Recently conducted literature reviews focusing on studies looked at the correlation between stress, PTSD and sleep disturbances and how they affect each other. The review looked at the biological and the psychological relations between stress and sleep, looking at polysomnographic tests and sleep questionnaires. It also looked at what sleep disturbances are expected to happen and their biological and psychological effect on patients.
This literature review showed that there is a significant correlation between stress and sleep disturbance, PTSD particularly is the most studied stress disorder. Studies have shown psychological as well as biological correlation between the two. Polysomnographic tests have shown significant disturbance to sleep architecture such as rapid eye movement and slow wave sleep. Sleep disturbances such as nightmare and insomnia are the most common sleep complaints among patients with PTSD. Mental health specialists should be aware of the correlation between sleep and stress. They should collaborate with sleep specialists to treat stress disorders like PTSD to improve the outcome.