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Keywords:

  • actigraphy;
  • gender differences;
  • longitudinal study;
  • nursing;
  • pittsburgh sleep quality index;
  • sleep;
  • stroke

Abstract

Aims

To describe sleep experiences after stroke using subjective and objective indicators and identify possible gender differences in sleep in the acute phase and at 6-month follow-up.

Background

Sleep disturbances after stoke are recognized, but poorly described. Gender differences in sleep exist in other populations, but have not been reported after stroke.

Design

A longitudinal cohort study.

Method

Subjective sleep quality was measured with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and objective sleep was estimated with actigraphy in 100 patients in the acute phase and six months after stroke, from April 2007–March 2009.

Findings

Subjective sleep quality was better and objective wake percentage was lower at follow-up than in the acute phase after stroke. Actigraphy estimated low sleep efficiency and many awakenings at both time points. Subjective and objective measures were correlated at the 6-month follow-up, but not in the acute phase. Women's subjective sleep efficiency and total score on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index were worse than men's in the acute phase, but actigraphy estimated that women slept more than men in the course of a day. Women's subjective sleep quality was better at follow-up than in the acute phase. Men reported worse subjective sleep quality, but better subjective sleep efficiency at follow-up than in the acute phase, and also had lower objective wake percentage at follow-up.

Conclusions

Subjective sleep quality was poor and actigraphy indicated disturbed sleep–wake patterns in the acute phase and at 6-month follow-up. Gender differences existed in subjective and objective sleep in the acute phase, but not at follow-up.