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Sleep Disturbances and Their Management in Patients with Brain Injury

Thaxton, Lora MD; Myers, Mary Ann MD

The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: August 2002 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 335–348
Selected Reviews in Psychopharmacology

Objectives: Sleep disturbances in people with brain injuries, although quite common, remain a problematic management issue for caregivers. This article will review the architecture of sleep, the assessment of insomnia, and discussion of common medications that may exacerbate the problem. Nonpharmacological management techniques, including stimulus control, sleep restriction, and relaxation therapy, will also be discussed.

Main Outcome Measures: An intensive analysis of pharmacological agents used in treatment, including descriptions of the positive and negative effects of the various classes of drugs (e.g., sedative/hypnotics, antihistamines, dopamine agonists, and stimulants) will be provided.

Conclusions: These discussions will hopefully assist in the decision-making processes of caregivers managing this unique group of persons with sleep difficulties.

Assistant Professor Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medical College of Ohio Toledo, Ohio (Thaxton)

Associate Professor Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Associate Dean for Admissions Medical College of Ohio Chief of Staff Medical College of Ohio Hospital Toledo, Ohio (Myers)

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Lora Thaxton, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical College of Ohio, Room 1577, Dowling Hall, 3065 Arlington Avenue, Toledo OH 43614–5807. Telephone (419) 383-3797; Fax (419) 383-3596. E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.