It is seemingly that obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia are different sleep disorders. A meta-analysis of 37 published studies conducted by Prof. Xiangdong Tang’ s research group from Sleep Medicine Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University reported that the prevalence of insomnia in the patients with obstructive sleep apnea was 38%, and the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in insomnia patients was 35%. These findings have been published on Sleep Medicine Reviews, one of the top journals in sleep field (impact factor: 10.6, Zhang et al., 2019).
As early as 2013, Prof. Tang’s team reported a case of insomnia caused by obstructive sleep apnea on J Clin Sleep Med (Li et al., 2013), an official magazine of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The report showed that the patient successfully stopped taking sleeping pills (five alprazolam bills per night) which had lasted over the past ten years upon receiving the definitive therapy. Then, they conducted a research on a total of 860 patients with chronic insomnia revealed that the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in insomnia patients was 43% (Li et al., Sleep Breath, 2015).
The sleep-disordered breathing and chronic insomnia increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, and even critical chronic diseases including cancer. The co-morbidity may further increase the probability of these chronic diseases. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81530002, 81629002) and the National Basic Research Program of China (2015CB856406).