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Background. Stroke survivors commonly complain of difficulty sleeping. Poor sleep is associated with reduced quality of life and more understanding of long-term consequences of stroke on sleep is needed. Objective. The primary aims were to (1) compare sleep measures between chronic stroke survivors and healthy controls and (2) test for a relationship between motor impairment, time since stroke and sleep. Secondary aims were to explore mood and inactivity as potential correlates of sleep and test the correlation between self-reported and objective sleep measures. Methods. Cross-sectional sleep measures were obtained for 69 chronic stroke survivors (mean 65 months post-stroke, 63 years old, 24 female) and 63 healthy controls (mean 61 years old, 27 female). Self-reported sleep was assessed with the sleep condition indicator (SCI) and sleep diary ratings, objective sleep with 7-nights actigraphy and mood with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Upper extremity motor impairment was assessed with the Fugl-Meyer assessment. Results. Stroke survivors had significantly poorer SCI score ( P < .001) and higher wake after sleep onset ( P = .005) than controls. Neither motor impairment, nor time since stroke, explained significant variance in sleep measures for the stroke group. For all participants together, greater depression was associated with poorer SCI score ( R2adj = .197, P < .001) and higher age with more fragmented sleep ( R2adj = .108, P < .001). There were weak correlations between nightly sleep ratings and actigraphy sleep measures ( r s = .15–.24). Conclusions. Sleep disturbance is present long-term after stroke. Depressive symptoms may present a modifiable factor which should be investigated alongside techniques to improve sleep in this population.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair


SAGE Publications

Publication Date





851 - 860