Sleep disorders associated with traumatic brain injury

Richard J. Castriotta, Jenny Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate the frequency of sleep disorders in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with hypersomnia and to discern the relationship between posttraumatic sleep disorders and pretraumatic sleep symptoms. Design: Prospective cohort study using the criterion standard to diagnose sleep disorders in a consecutive sample of TBI patients. Setting: Academic medical center with level I trauma center, rehabilitative medicine services, and accredited sleep disorders center. Patients: Ten TBI patients with subjective excessive sleepiness. Intervention: Nocturnal polysomnography followed by Multiple Sleep Latency Test. Subjects who had overt sleep apnea on the first nocturnal polysomnography had a second nocturnal polysomnography with titration of nasal continuous positive airway pressure. Main Outcome Measures: Diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing, narcolepsy, and posttraumatic hypersomnia. Results: A diagnosis of treatable sleep disorder was made in all 10 subjects. Sleep-disordered breathing was found in 7 subjects: overt obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was diagnosed in 5 subjects, rapid eye movement-related OSA in 1, and upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) in 1. Narcolepsy was diagnosed in 2 subjects, and the diagnosis of posttraumatic hypersomnia was made in 1 subject. Three subjects had symptoms of hypersomnia before their injury (1 each with narcolepsy, OSA, UARS), and 2 of these were driving a car at the time of injury. Conclusion: Treatable sleep disorders appear to be common in the sleepy TBI population, but may be largely undiagnosed and untreated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1403-1406
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Craniocerebral trauma
  • Hypersomnia
  • Obstructive
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Sleep disorders associated with traumatic brain injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this