Sleep disorders in patients with spinal cord injury

Sleep Med Rev. 2013 Dec;17(6):399-409. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2012.12.005. Epub 2013 Apr 22.


Sleep disturbances are globally more frequent in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) than in the able-bodied population, and could contribute to dysfunction and poor quality of life in these patients. Specific sleep disorders may also contribute to negative health outcomes enhancing cardiovascular risk in a condition that per se increases heart disease related mortality. This review focuses on prevalence, features and treatment of sleep disorders in SCI. Although data on these subjects have been produced, reports on pathophysiology, consequences and treatment of sleep disorders are scarce or contradictory and more studies are required.

Keywords: Sleep breathing disorders; Sleep disturbances; Sleep movement disorders; Traumatic spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / etiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology