NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 20 -- The pathology behind insomnia may be a more than a consequence of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse, investigators here said. It may be a harbinger an underlying cause.
For example, in a study that evaluated patients with insomnia and new-onset mood disorders, insomnia preceded the mood disorder about 40% of the time, and it was concurrent with the disorder about 30% of the time, said Jeffrey M. Nard, M.D., of the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.
Only in the remaining minority of 30% of patients did insomnia come after the mood disorder, Dr. Nard said at the U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress here.
Although anxiety often precedes insomnia-keeping patients tossing and turning at night-about 15% of those with an anxiety disorder reported having insomnia first, the same study found, Dr, Nard said.