Hyperbaric, Methadone, Opioid, Sleep Disturbance, Withdrawal



  1. Gray, Emily BSN, RN
  2. Wilson, Marian PhD, MPH, RN-BC
  3. Landis, Tullamora T. PhD, RN-BC, CNL
  4. Little-Gott, Angela MA


Abstract: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted concurrent with a larger study investigating the effects of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on withdrawal symptoms for adults receiving daily methadone for opioid use disorder. The aims of this study were to (a) evaluate the perceptions of withdrawal symptoms and sleep characteristics of study participants and (b) explore the experiences of participation in the parent trial of hyperbaric oxygen treatment.


Adults with opioid use disorder can experience distressing symptoms related to withdrawal as well as co-occurring symptoms; sleep impairment is frequently reported. Few studies have examined how adults who receive medication for opioid use disorder experience sleep. A preliminary study of adults receiving daily methadone found that withdrawal symptoms were improved after hyperbaric oxygen treatment. This study explores the narrative of opioid users who report their overall experiences with withdrawal and sleep as well as their experiences of hyperbaric therapy.


A convenience sample of six participants was recruited, who represented a small subgroup of participants who completed the larger hyperbaric treatment study. Data were collected via semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed using the qualitative content analysis guidelines proposed by Schreier (2012). All participants described poor overall sleep hygiene and disturbed sleep. More than half of the respondents reported improved or eliminated withdrawal symptoms, and all reported improvement in sleep quality after participation in the sleep study.


This companion study confirms that subjective sleep disturbance may be prevalent for adults with opioid use disorder. Participants felt the experience of hyperbaric oxygen treatment produced a positive effect on sleep.