We have a long-standing interest in the interactions between insomnia and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). When first conducting imagery rehearsal treatment on chronic nightmare sufferers in 1993, we began noticing that a large number of these nightmare patients reported insomnia as well as sleep breathing symptoms. When their nightmare improved after IRT, their reports of poor sleep quality persisted, leading us to speculate that many of them suffered from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS).
In 1998, we published our first data on this topic as an abstract and presented the work at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting. Since then have published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles, 20 peer-reviewed abstracts, and 2 trade books that delve at various levels into the relatonships between insomina and SDB.
The Sleep and Human Health Institute (SHHI) was awarded a grant to study one of the most controversial aspects of Chronic Insomnia. Conventional wisdom connects insomnia to psychological factors – stress, racing thoughts, and worries – and is usually treated with sleeping pills or talk therapy. Pitted against the CW is the provocative theory that a large percentage of Chronic Insomniacs suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a physical breathing problem that might cause unwanted or unexpected sleeplessness.