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HIV, sleep, sleep hygiene, sleep quality, women



  1. Hudson, Angela L.
  2. Portillo, Carmen J.
  3. Lee, Kathryn A.


Background: Poor sleep is a frequent complaint of persons with HIV infection.


Objectives: To pilot test a tailored sleep promotion intervention protocol based on principles of sleep hygiene in a convenience sample of 30 HIV seropositive women.


Methods: At baseline and 1 week after implementing the intervention, sleep was assessed by self-report measures and wrist actigraphy. Objective sleep measures include total sleep time, number of awakenings, and sleep efficiency, as well as level of daytime activity, 24-hr activity rhythm, and amount of sleep during the day.


Results: Prior to the intervention, women averaged 6.4 hr (SD = 1.99) of sleep, and 67% (n = 20) of the sample napped more than 30 min per day. After allowing 1 week to implement sleep hygiene principles to promote healthy sleep behaviors, there was a significant improvement in their perception of sleep and a significant change in their 24-hr activity rhythm. This involved more activity and less napping during the day.


Discussion: Although there was minimal change in objective measures of nighttime sleep for the group as a whole, those with initiation insomnia and maintenance insomnia benefited most from the intervention. These findings support the utility of a tailored sleep promotion intervention for women who are HIV positive to address their unique form of sleep disturbance.