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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.01109

Severely disturbed sleep in patients with acute ischemic stroke on stroke units

  • 1Rijnstate Hospital, Netherlands
  • 2University of Twente, Netherlands
  • 3Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands

Previous studies revealed a high prevalence of sleep-wake disturbances in subacute and chronic stroke. We analyzed sleep quantity and quality in patients with hyperacute ischemic stroke on stroke units.
We categorized sleep stages as N1, N2, N3, and REM according to the 2017 criteria of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 23 continuous, overnight EEG registrations from 18 patients, starting within 48h since the onset of cortical ischemic stroke. Associations between presence and duration of sleep stages, and secondary deterioration or functional outcome were analyzed.
Physiological sleep cycles were seen in none of the patients. Otherwise, sleep stages alternated chaotically, both during day- and during nighttime, with a sleep efficiency of 30% and 10.5 ± 4.4 (mean ± SD) awakenings per hour of sleep. We cannot differentiate between stroke related and external factors. Only few interrupts could be related to planned nightly wake up calls, but turbulence on stroke units may have played a role. Six patients (seven nights) did not reach deep sleep (N3), ten patients (13 nights) did not reach REM sleep. If reached, the mean durations of deep and REM sleep were short, with 37 (standard deviation (SD) 25) and 18 (SD15) minutes, respectively. Patients with secondary deterioration more often lacked deep sleep (N3) than patients without secondary deterioration (4 (57%) vs. 2 (25%)), but without statistical significance (p=0.12).
We show that sleep is severely disturbed in patients with acute ischemic stroke admitted to stroke units. Larger studies are needed to clarify associations between deprivation of deep sleep and secondary deterioration.

Keywords: ischemic stroke, Continuous EEG (cEEG), stroke unit, secondary deterioration, Sleep

Received: 17 Mar 2019; Accepted: 03 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Hofmeijer, Kaam, Vermeer and van Putten. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Jeannette Hofmeijer, Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, Netherlands,