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J Psychosom Res. 2011 Dec;71(6):423-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Few changes observed in polysomnographic-assessed sleep before and after completion of chemotherapy.

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  • 1University of Rochester James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, Rochester, NY 14642, United States.



Sleep disturbance is prevalent among patients undergoing chemotherapy and is strongly associated with cancer-related fatigue (CRF). However, little objective evidence has been gathered on the patterns of sleep before and following chemotherapy.


Twenty-six patients scheduled to receive chemotherapy were recruited. Sleep parameters were assessed by in-lab polysomnography (PSG) for two consecutive nights prior to first chemotherapy, approximately 3weeks following the patients' last chemotherapy, and 3months following the last treatment. Fatigue was measured on the first night of each of the two-night PSG assessments. We focus on Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS) as we hypothesized that a decrease of this restorative phase of sleep might be implicated in CRF.


Repeated-measures analyses examining changes from baseline to the later time points in the proportion of time asleep spent in each of the four sleep architecture stages (Stage 1, Stage 2, SWS, and REM sleep) were non-significant, all Ps>0.41. Canonical correlation analysis showed that the proportion of time spent in SWS was not significantly correlated with any of the three CRF measures at any of the three assessment points, P=0.28.


Sleep architecture is not affected by cancer treatment. No evidence of an association between CRF and SWS, or alterations in SWS, was found.

2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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