Actigraphically measured sleep-wake behavior after mild traumatic brain injury

Allan, Alicia C., Edmed, Shannon L., Sullivan, Karen A., Karlsson, Lina J.E., Lange, Rael T., & Smith, Simon S. (2016) Actigraphically measured sleep-wake behavior after mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (In Press)

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  • To characterize and compare the sleep-wake behavior of individuals following a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) with that of noninjured healthy controls.


  • Community.


  • Fourteen participants with a recent mTBI (Mage = 28.07; SD = 10.45; n = 10 females) and 34 noninjured controls (Mage = 23.70; SD = 7.30; n = 31 females).


  • Cross-sectional.

Main Measures

  • Battery of subjective sleep measures and 14 days of sleep-wake monitoring via actigraphy (objective measurement) and concurrent daily sleep diary.


  • Participants who had sustained an mTBI self-reported significantly higher sleep-related impairment, poorer nightly sleep quality, and more frequently met criteria for clinical insomnia, compared with controls (d = 0.76-1.11, large effects). The only significant between-group difference on objective sleep metrics occurred on sleep timing. On average, people with a recent history of mTBI fell asleep and woke approximately 1 hour earlier than did the controls (d = 0.62-0.92, medium to large effects).


  • Participants with a history of mTBI had several subjective sleep complaints but relatively few objective sleep changes with the exception of earlier sleep timing. Future research is needed to understand the clinical significance of these findings and how these symptoms can be alleviated. Interventions addressing subjective sleep complaints (eg, cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia) should be tested in this population.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 97736
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000222
ISSN: 0885-9701
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2016 23:55
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2016 22:46

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