Today is National HIV Testing Day. The CDC estimates that 1.1 million adults and teens in the U.S. were living with HIV at the end of 2006. Twenty-one percent of these people had not been diagnosed.
A review in the June 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reports that insomnia is common in people with HIV. Some studies estimate that as many as 70 percent of people with HIV have insomnia at some point during their illness. Research also suggests that HIV may directly lead to changes in sleep.
Insomnia can reduce the quality of life of people who are HIV positive. It also can have a negative effect on their adherence to HIV treatment.
The review reports that few studies have evaluated insomnia treatments in people with HIV.
One study tested a five-week acupuncture intervention. It involved 21 HIV-positive men and women. They received a total of 10 treatments. Results show that sleep activity and sleep quality improved significantly.
Another study examined the effect of caffeine reduction on sleep quality. It involved 88 people who were HIV positive. Half of the participants reduced their caffeine intake by 90 percent or more for 30 days; the other half continued their usual caffeine consumption. Results show that caffeine reduction led to a 35 percent improvement in sleep quality.
The review also suggests that sleep medications may be useful for treating insomnia in people with HIV.
Read more about acupuncture for insomnia on the Sleep Education Blog. Learn more about insomnia due to medical condition on SleepEducation.com.