Objective: To examine the relationship between measures of sleep quality and cognitive performance in HIV-positive individuals stable on combination antiretroviral therapy.
Design: Multimethod assessments of sleep quality, patterns, and cognitive performance were assessed in a predominantly black HIV-positive cohort.
Methods: Sleep quality and patterns were characterized in 36 subjects by polysomnogram, 2-week actigraphy monitoring, and validated sleep questionnaires. Cognitive performance was assessed with a battery of neuropsychological tests.
Results: The majority of participants were cognitively impaired [based on Frascati (75%) criteria]. Self-reported mean scores on the Pittsburgh sleep quality index and the insomnia severity scale suggested poor sleep quality. Better cognitive performance, particularly on tasks of attention, frontal/executive function, and psychomotor/motor speed, was associated with polysomnogram sleep indices (ie, reduced wake after sleep onset, greater sleep efficiency, greater sleep latency, and greater total sleep time). Thirty-seven percent of participants had sleep patterns suggestive of chronic partial sleep deprivation, which was associated with significantly worse performance on the digit symbol test (P = 0.006), nondominant pegboard (P = 0.043), and verbal fluency tests (P = 0.044).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that compromised sleep quality and duration may have a significant impact on cognitive performance in HIV-positive individuals. Future studies are warranted to determine the utility of sleep quality and quantity indices as potential predictive biomarkers for development and progression of future HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder.