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Clin Transplant. 2013 Nov-Dec;27(6):901-13. doi: 10.1111/ctr.12255. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Poor sleep in organ transplant recipients: self-reports and actigraphy.

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College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


Solid organ transplant recipients are at increased risk of poor sleep due to pharmacotherapy and co-morbidities, but sleep problems are often unrecognized and untreated. Study aims were to measure rates of occurrence, characteristics, and correlates of poor sleep in recipients. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and sleep parameters measured by wrist actigraphy were obtained at baseline from 143 kidney, liver, heart, lung, or pancreas transplant recipients enrolled in a psychosocial intervention trial to improve symptoms and quality of life. Rates of poor sleep were determined using accepted clinical cutoffs; 41% (58 of 143) were poor sleepers (PSQI > 8) and 36% used sleep medications in the past month. Fifteen percent reported having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and 4% reported restless legs syndrome (RLS). Based on actigraphy (n = 73), 69% lacked sleep efficiency (SE), 32% took >30 min to fall asleep, 88% awakened during the night for more than 30 min, and 25% slept less than six h per night. Obesity and use of psychotropics or sleep medications, and pain were independent risk factors for poor objectively measured sleep. Poor sleep is an undertreated problem in transplantation. Screening for sleep problems and behavioral therapies with sleep hygiene instruction may benefit recipients.


Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; actigraphy; quality of life; sleep; transplantation

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