Sleep disturbances in men with asymptomatic human immunodeficiency (HIV) infection

S. E. Norman, A. D. Chediak, C. Freeman, M. Kiel, A. Mendez, R. Duncan, J. Simoneau, B. Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


During the clinical latency phase of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease the central nervous system may be infected and begin to manifest subtle dysfunction. Our early investigations demonstrated persistent alterations in the sleep architecture of HIV-infected asymptomatic men. The major aims of this study were to delineate alterations of sleep architecture in asymptomatic HIV-infected men, to identify and describe sleep behavior complaints and to seek a correlation between objective sleep parameters and subjective complaints of sleep behavior. The study sample consisted of 24 men, 14 HIV-infected and 10 HIV-negative, age-matched controls. The protocol included a comprehensive history and physical, two polysomnograms, urine toxicity, detailed written sleep questionnaire, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Test and the Beck Depression Inventory. Our results indicated that sleep architecture differed from controls in that wakefulness, slow-wave sleep [SWS-stage 3 and 4 nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep] and stage rapid eye movement (REM) sleep were more evenly dispersed throughout the night. In particular, SWS was prevalent during the second half of recorded sleep. The observed changes in the NREM/REM cycle could not be explained on the basis of underlying psychopathology. Just as the course of individuals with HIV infection varies, it is expected that sleep abnormalities will vary. Considering the known relationships between NREM stage 3 and 4 and immune system function, it is possible that the observed alterations in the NREM/REM cycle are related to coincident changes in immunologic function. Quantitative measures of NREM sleep, especially SWS and REM sleep, are perhaps of greater significance than relative measures of sleep stages. The relationship of sleep architecture alterations to circadian rhythms also requires investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992


  • HIV infection
  • Sleep disturbances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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