Depression, Fatigue Predicts Sleep Disturbances After Stroke

In post-stroke patients, depression and fatigue are independently linked to sleep disturbances.

NASHVILLE — Stroke survivors who have depression have a high risk of nighttime sleep disturbances, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015.

Post-stroke sleep disturbances are common and have been associated with worse outcomes. The researchers in this study wanted to see how depression and fatigue affected sleep disturbances in hospitalized stroke patients three months after their stroke.

The study included 282 patients who were hospitalized for stroke at the Asan Medical Center, with 199 completing the three month follow up. The researchers evaluated the duration and time intervals of nighttime sleep, frequency of waking up after falling asleep, and daytime sleepiness during their stroke hospitalization and again three months after their stroke. They also assessed depression and fatigue using the Beck Depression Inventory and the Fatigue Severity Scale.

During their hospitalization, more than one-fifth of the patients reported nighttime sleep durations of ≤6 hours. At follow up, 44% continued to report nighttime sleep disturbances, and 39% of patients reported more daytime sleepiness than they had prior to their stroke. Depression was the most powerful predictor of nighttime sleep disturbances, though brain lesion location and diabetes mellitus were also associated with these disturbances. Daytime sleepiness was linked to subcortical lesion location, fatigue, and female gender.


  1. Choi Kwon S et al. Abstract NS13. International Stroke Conference. Feb. 10 2015. Nashville, Tennessee.