Catathrenia, or sleep related groaning, is an uncommon feature of a sleep-related breathing disorder that can be successfully treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
The study is published in the January 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.
The study, authored by Christian Guilleminault, MD, of Stanford University, focused on seven consecutive female patients between the ages of 20 and 34, all of whom had a chief complaint of involuntary groaning during sleep that was brought to their attention by family members. The subjects filled out questionnaires, underwent a standard clinical evaluation, a physical exam, craniofacial evaluations and a nocturnal polysomnogram. All seven were treated with CPAP and then offered surgical treatment if they were unable to tolerate or adhere to CPAP recommendations.
According to the results, three individuals had a personal history of another parasomnia in childhood, six had prior orthodontic intervention, five had tooth extraction during their teenage years (usually an indicator of small jaw structure), and two reported another family member with likely catathrenia. When used, CPAP eliminated the groaning sound. Five patients elected subsequent surgical intervention, in which three of the four that followed up after surgery required oral appliance treatment. All four, however, ultimately had resolution of groaning.
“Catathrenia can be both a social problem and a sign of an underlying breathing problem during sleep,” said Dr. Guilleminault. “Some patients are quite embarrassed and burdened by their lack of control over catathrenia and the disturbance it can cause for those around them. This includes bed partners or people nearby when in hotels, sleeping on airplanes, staying at other people’s homes or having friends and family visit them. It can also indicate a mild impairment of breathing during sleep that can be treated.”
On average, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to feel alert and well-rested. Those who think they might have a sleep disorder are urged to consult with their primary care physician or a sleep specialist.
SLEEP is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the AASM and the Sleep Research Society.
Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, USA