Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Research News & Studies

HIV and Insomnia More Likely To Go Together, Regardless of Age

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Jim Allen:
Small data set but interesting insights. I had insomnia and sleep issues myself but was lucky with the easy fix of changing the timing of my meds to the mornings. (Dolutegravir)

In full:

In short:

--- Quote ---This substudy culled data from 357 of the 483 participants in the larger Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Observations in People Over Fifty (POPPY) study at sites in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The overall study is comparing the health outcomes of people living with HIV over age 50 to those of people the same age without HIV and younger people with HIV.

The participants overall were more likely to be men, around 56 to 65 years old, white (90%) and gay or bisexual. HIV-positive people over 50 had a median lowest-ever CD4 counts of 174 compared to 270 for younger people with HIV. All were on antiretroviral treatment; 15% of those over 50 and 18% of those under 50 were taking efavirenz (sold alone as Sustiva and a component of the Atripla combination pill), which is known to have neurological side effects including sleep problems.

Participants were asked to fill out two sleep questionnaires to assess things like insomnia, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. They then spent one night at home wearing a fingertip pulse oximeter to gather data on oxygen saturation in the blood, a marker of sleep apnea.

The researchers found that although people living with HIV were no more likely to experience sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome than their HIV-negative peers, they were far more likely to experience insomnia: 21% of older people with HIV and 23% of younger people with HIV met criteria for insomnia, compared to just 5% of older participants without HIV—a five-fold increased risk.

But despite having more severe symptoms, the rates of treatment for sleep disorders were roughly the same for older people with HIV and older people without the virus (20% and 17%). Younger people with HIV, however, were more likely to have received treatment for their insomnia (26%).
--- End quote ---

Oh, I'm definitely one of them! I've been using sleeping pills for ages now. I've even added an additional pill because during the pandemic my sleeping pattern has worsened. :(

I have bad myoclonic spasms

I wake up in a heart gripping panic a few times a night

hmmm. I haven't sleep enough since my 20's - and when did I get HIV? in my 20s. I'm lucky to get up to sleep 6 hours a night. So now, after all these years, I'm about 9 years behind getting enough sleep.  ;D I just thought it was partying in my youth and getting older that was keeping me from sleeping but I'm going to blame it all on the HIV now. ;) :D

Add me to the list -- I've had to use sleeping pills for years and years, to this date.


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