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IntroductionThere is growing evidence that sleep is disrupted after stroke, with worse sleep relating to poorer motor outcomes. It is also widely acknowledged that consolidation of motor learning, a critical component of poststroke recovery, is sleep-dependent. However, whether the relationship between disrupted sleep and poor outcomes after stroke is related to direct interference of sleep-dependent motor consolidation processes, is currently unknown. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to understand whether measures of motor consolidation mediate the relationship between sleep and clinical motor outcomes post stroke.Methods and analysisWe will conduct a longitudinal observational study of up to 150 participants diagnosed with stroke affecting the upper limb. Participants will be recruited and assessed within 7 days of their stroke and followed up at approximately 1 and 6 months. The primary objective of the study is to determine whether sleep in the subacute phase of recovery explains the variability in upper limb motor outcomes after stroke (over and above predicted recovery potential from the Predict Recovery Potential algorithm) and whether this relationship is dependent on consolidation of motor learning. We will also test whether motor consolidation mediates the relationship between sleep and whole-body clinical motor outcomes, whether motor consolidation is associated with specific electrophysiological sleep signals and sleep alterations during subacute recovery.Ethics and disseminationThis trial has received both Health Research Authority, Health and Care Research Wales and National Research Ethics Service approval (IRAS: 304135; REC: 22/LO/0353). The results of this trial will help to enhance our understanding of the role of sleep in recovery of motor function after stroke and will be disseminated via presentations at scientific conferences, peer-reviewed publication, public engagement events, stakeholder organisations and other forms of media where appropriate.Trial registration, registered on 27 February 2023.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open



Publication Date





e077442 - e077442