Sleep and substance use disorder treatment: A preliminary study of subjective and objective assessment of sleep during an intensive outpatient program

Allison K. Wilkerson, Richard O. Simmons, Gregory L. Sahlem, Daniel J. Taylor, Joshua P. Smith, Sarah W. Book, Aimee L. McRae-Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Characteristics of sleep concerns and their relationship to mental health in heterogeneous substance use disorder (SUD) treatment settings are not well understood. The purpose of this preliminary study was to assess sleep using subjective and objective measures at two time points during SUD treatment and compare sleep changes to changes in mental health measures. Methods: Treatment-seeking participants completed an assessment battery at the beginning of treatment (Time 1, N = 30) and again upon treatment completion (Time 2, approximately 4 weeks later, N = 22). The majority of participants were White (80%), male (63%), and presenting for alcohol use disorder (60.0%), though almost half reported polysubstance abuse (43%). Comorbidity was common (53%). Sleep and mental health questionnaires with 1 week of actigraphy and sleep diaries were completed at both time points. Results: Most participants met the criteria for a sleep disorder and mean scores on questionnaires showed poor sleep quality, insomnia symptoms, and frequent nightmares, with sleep quality and insomnia improving over time but remaining clinically significant. Nightmares did not improve. Actigraphy indicated poor sleep at both time points. Improvement in insomnia was related to improvement in measures of mental health while changes in actigraphy variables were not related to these measures. Discussion and Conclusions: Multiple types of sleep disturbance are prevalent in this population, with nightmares persisting throughout treatment and insomnia symptoms showing a relationship with mental health symptoms. Scientific Significance: This was the first study to longitudinally assess mental health with subjective and objective measures of sleep across multiple types of SUDs in a community SUD treatment setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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