Prevalence and comorbidity of nocturnal wandering in the US adult general population

Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.29). 05/2012; 78(20):1583-9. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182563be5
Source: PubMed


To assess the prevalence and comorbid conditions of nocturnal wandering with abnormal state of consciousness (NW) in the American general population.
Cross-sectional study conducted with a representative sample of 19,136 noninstitutionalized individuals of the U.S. general population ≥18 years old. The Sleep-EVAL expert system administered questions on life and sleeping habits; health; and sleep, mental, and organic disorders (DSM-IV-TR; International Classification of Sleep Disorders, version 2; International Classification of Diseases-10).
Lifetime prevalence of NW was 29.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 28.5%-29.9%). In the previous year, NW was reported by 3.6% (3.3%-3.9%) of the sample: 1% had 2 or more episodes per month and 2.6% had between 1 and 12 episodes in the previous year. Family history of NW was reported by 30.5% of NW participants. Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (odds ratio [OR] 3.9), circadian rhythm sleep disorder (OR 3.4), insomnia disorder (OR 2.1), alcohol abuse/dependence (OR 3.5), major depressive disorder (MDD) (OR 3.5), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (OR 3.9), or using over-the-counter sleeping pills (OR 2.5) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants (OR 3.0) were at higher risk of frequent NW episodes (≥2 times/month).
With a rate of 29.2%, lifetime prevalence of NW is high. SSRIs were associated with an increased risk of NW. However, these medications appear to precipitate events in individuals with a prior history of NW. Furthermore, MDD and OCD were associated with significantly greater risk of NW, and this was not due to the use of psychotropic medication. These psychiatric associations imply an increased risk due to sleep disturbance.

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Available from: Maurice Moyses Ohayon, Mar 05, 2014
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    • "Consistent with this view, several subsequent studies reported the presence of severe and pervasive psychiatric disorders in adults presenting with SW or with a mixture of SW and sleep terrors (ST) [13] [26] [27]. Self-report epidemiologic investigations indicate that approximately 25% of adult sleepwalkers report a concurrent anxiety or mood disorder [7] and that SW is more frequent among individuals who consume psychotropic medications [28]. However, other studies indicate that a majority of adult sleepwalkers neither show elevated scores on questionnaire measures of psychopathology [29], nor meet criteria for psychiatric or personality disorders based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition [11] [30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sleepwalking (SW) often has been associated with psychopathology, but the nature and magnitude of this relation remains unclear. The aim of our study was to investigate the presence of psychopathology in a large cohort of sleepwalkers and to determine if levels of psychopathology showed differential relations to specific characteristics of the disorder, including clinical history. One-hundred and five sleepwalkers (39 men, 66 women; mean age, 32.4±9.5years) referred to our sleep disorders clinic for chronic SW underwent a comprehensive clinical investigation that included an overnight polysomnography (PSG) assessment in 90% of cases. All participants also completed a series of questionnaires, including the Beck Depression Inventory, Second Revision (BDI-II), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R). The proportion of sleepwalkers who scored above the minimal clinical threshold on the BDI-II, BAI, and SCL-90-R was 27%, 40%, and 28%, respectively. Only 15% of sleepwalkers showed moderate to severe symptoms on the BDI-II and 19% on the BAI. Taken as a whole, these profiles are similar to those observed in the general adult population. The presence of psychopathology in sleepwalkers was associated with a negative family history for SW, a higher frequency of nightmares, and with potentially injurious behaviors enacted during somnambulistic episodes. A majority of adult sleepwalkers consulting for the disorder do not report clinically significant levels of depression or anxiety. Overall, sleepwalkers with and without psychopathology appear more similar than dissimilar.
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    • "Several studies have reported that the arousals caused by sleep apneas can be a trigger for sleepwalking episodes [8] [14] [15]. The EDS noted in our study did not result from the presence of a sleep apnea syndrome, as none of the subjects had an apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) greater than 15 and only three subjects had an AHI between 10 and 15. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sleepwalkers often complain of excessive daytime somnolence (EDS). Our retrospective study aimed to document the presence of EDS in a substantial sample of sleepwalkers and to explore the contribution of other sleep disorders, nocturnal sleep disruption, and sleep depth to the alteration of their daytime vigilance. Seventy adult sleepwalkers and 70 control subjects completed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Sleepwalkers also were studied for one night in the sleep laboratory. We compared the sleep profiles of 32 somnolent vs 38 nonsomnolent sleepwalkers and investigated the relationship between ESS scores and sleep-related variables. No differences were found in polysomnographic (PSG) parameters. Slow-wave activity (SWA) also was similar in the two subgroups. Sleepwalkers' ESS scores were not correlated with their body mass index (BMI) or periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS) index, but they tended to be negatively correlated with indices of respiratory events. The EDS reported by adult sleepwalkers does not appear to be explained by the presence of concomitant sleep disorders or PSG signs of nocturnal sleep disruption. These results raise the possibility that EDS is part of the sleepwalking phenotype and that it is linked to its underlying pathophysiology.
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