Frequency and correlates of sleep disturbance in methadone and buprenorphine-maintained patients

Kelly E. Dunn, Patrick H. Finan, D. Andrew Tompkins, Eric C. Strain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant public health problem, and opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) on methadone or buprenorphine is a common approach. This study characterized sleep impairment in patients maintained on methadone or buprenorphine, and evaluated its association with psychiatric and medical comorbidities. Methods Participants (N = 185) maintained on methadone (N = 125) or buprenorphine (N = 60) for OUD completed the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale (MOS) to provide a point-prevalence assessment of sleep impairment. Measures of lifetime problems and current functioning were also examined and compared as both a function of OMT and level of sleep impairment. Results Participants reported high levels of sleep impairment on the MOS, including not getting the amount of sleep they needed (42.9%), not sleeping enough to feel rested (39.6%) and trouble falling asleep (23.3%) or falling back asleep after waking (25.8%). Few differences were observed between OMT groups, and psychiatric dysfunction emerged as the most robust predictor of sleep impairment ratings. Patients with sleep impairment, independent of OMT medications, also reported current opioid withdrawal, psychiatric impairment, negative affect, and pain. Conclusions Results demonstrate substantial and clinically-significant impairments in sleep that are associated with a variety of current problems that could impact OMT outcomes and decrease quality of life. Outcomes support the development of methods to improve sleep in OMT patients, and to examine the degree to which sleep improvements may be associated with improvements in mood and other health-related measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Opioid maintenance treatment
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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