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Associations between signs of sleep bruxism and insomnia

Research group Van Someren
Publication year 2023
Published in Journal of Sleep Research
Authors Boyuan Kuang, Ghizlane Aarab, Yishul Wei, T.F. Blanken, Frank Lobbezoo, Eus Van Someren, Jennifer R Ramautar, R. Wassing

Sleep bruxism (SB) is a repetitive jaw-muscle activity characterised by clenching or grinding of the teeth and/or by bracing or thrusting of the mandible. Sleep bruxism has been linked with insomnia symptoms. Moreover, it has been suggested that there is a positive association between distress and the occurrence of sleep bruxism. However, the occurrence of sleep bruxism and its association with distress have not been studied in patients with insomnia. Therefore, we hypothesised that: (1) the occurrence of sleep bruxism is higher in patients with insomnia than in healthy controls; and (2) the occurrence of sleep bruxism in insomnia patients with moderate to high distress (IMHD) is higher than that in insomnia patients with slight distress (ISD). A total of 44 controls (34 females, 10 males, mean ± SD age = 46.8 ± 14.4 years) and 42 participants with insomnia (35 females, 7 males, mean ± SD age = 51.3 ± 12.1 years) were enrolled in this study. Among 42 participants with insomnia, 20 participants were subtyped as IMHD, 17 participants as ISD. Another five participants were not subtyped due to insufficient information. Group differences in rhythmic masticatory muscle activity (RMMA), a biomarker of sleep bruxism, were evaluated with Mann-Whitney U tests. The medians and interquartile ranges of the RMMA indices were 0.8|1.8|3.3 in controls, 1.1|1.6|2.3 in IMHD and 1.2|1.9|2.9 in ISD. There was no significant difference in the RMMA index, neither between participants with insomnia and controls (P = 0.514) nor between IMHD versus ISD (P = 0.270). The occurrence of RMMA indicators of possible sleep bruxism is not significantly different between individuals with insomnia and controls, nor between IMHD versus ISD.

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