The authors analysed data of 20,950 individuals who completed the balance and dizziness supplements of the ongoing NHIS survey in 2008. The survey used a strict algorithm to identify individuals reporting vestibular vertigo and information on sleep duration and a number of medical problems were gleaned from the data. Sleeping for 6-8 hours a day was classified as normal and less than six hours and greater than eight hours were classified as short and long respectively. Multinomial logistic regressions were used to compare the relative risk ratio (RRR) of short and long sleep relative to normal sleep duration associated with vestibular vertigo compared with the general survey population.
In both the general and vestibular vertigo populations, the majority reported normal sleep duration. However 30% of individuals with vertigo had significantly abnormal sleep duration (short 15.5% and long 14.78%) compared with 7.9% (short) and 8.8% (long) in the general population.
The difference was statistically significant. The vertigo population also had significantly more medical comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and various psychiatric and psychological conditions. The authors cited potential mechanisms of abnormal sleep pattern in vertigo such as effect on circadian rhythm, autonomic dysfunction, and effect of sleep deprivation on vestibular processing in the parieto-cortical centres, elevated cortisol and its effect on hippocampal atrophy. They urge clinicians to be aware of sleep disturbance in patients with vestibular vertigo.