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Sleep Med Clin. 2018 Jun;13(2):271-281. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2018.02.002. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Effects of Chronic Opioid Use on Sleep and Wake.

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Division of Sleep Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 450 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA 94063, USA.
Bethesda North Hospital, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 10535 Montgomery Road, Suite 200, Cincinnati, OH 45242, USA; Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, The Ohio State University, 181 Taylor Avenue, Columbus, OH 43203, USA. Electronic address:


Chronic use of opioids negatively affects sleep on 2 levels: sleep architecture and breathing. Patients suffer from a variety of daytime sequelae. There may be a bidirectional relationship between poor sleep quality, sleep-disordered breathing, and daytime function. Opioids are a potential cause of incident depression. The best therapeutic option is withdrawal of opioids, which proves difficult. Positive airway pressure devices are considered first-line treatment for sleep-related breathing disorders. New generation positive pressure servo ventilators are increasingly popular as a treatment option for opioid-induced sleep-disordered breathing. Treatments to improve sleep quality, sleep-related breathing disorders, and quality of life in patients who use opioids chronically are discussed.


Central sleep apnea; Daytime sleepiness; Depression; Opiates; Poor sleep; Sleep-disordered breathing

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