A sleep laboratory comparison of the sleep of 14 osteoarthritic patients with that of 16 age and sex matched healthy controls was undertaken. After three nights of adaptation continuous recordings of electroencephalographic (EEG), electro-oculographic (EOG), and electromyographic (EMG) activity were obtained for the next two nights. A comparison of EEG sleep variables during this baseline period showed that osteoarthritic patients had a significantly greater percentage of stage 1 and significantly smaller percentage of stage 2 sleep than control subjects. These findings indicate sleep disturbance in osteoarthritic patients. The limited degree of disturbance observed in these patients may be due to the fact that they were allowed to continue with their normal anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication for the course of the study.
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