Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sleep hygiene a major factor in sleep disorders in adults with HIV/AIDS

The majority of adults living with HIV/AIDS need targeted intervention to help them sleep. That’s the conclusion of a new study appearing in the February edition of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The study looked at 290 adults, ages 22 to 77, living with HIV. Researchers determined that environmental and sleep hygiene factors played a large role in the sleep disorders.

Nearly half of the men and women studied (45 percent) slept less than six hours each night. Thirty-four percent reported difficulty falling asleep, and 56 percent slept in fragments. Twenty percent had both problems. Only 30 percent were good sleepers.

Studies show that fragmented sleep occurs during chronic health conditions, sometimes unrealized by patients. Researchers said people who sleep in fragments rarely complain of insomnia. They do complain of daytime sleepiness or fatigue. This can lead to difficulty concentrating, poor thinking skills, depression symptoms and a loss in productivity.

Environmental and sleep hygiene factors may be critical in developing an effective intervention. The authors of this study recommended tailoring interventions to the specific type of sleep problem. They said less important were medical histories and things like age, weight, sex and income.

Read more about healthy sleep hygiene and treatments for sleep disorders. Or check out additional posts about sleep hygiene on the Sleep Education Blog.

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