Wireless Electroencephalography (EEG) to Monitor Sleep Among Patients Being Withdrawn From Opioids: Evidence of Feasibility and Utility

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Sleep impairment is a common comorbid and debilitating symptom for persons with opioid use disorder (OUD). Research into underlying mechanisms and efficacious treatment interventions for OUD-related sleep problems requires both precise and physiologic measurements of sleep-related outcomes and impairment. This pilot examined the feasibility of a wireless sleep electroencephalography (EEG) monitor (Sleep Profiler™) to measure sleep outcomes and architecture among participants undergoing supervised opioid withdrawal. Sleep outcomes were compared to a self-reported sleep diary and opioid withdrawal ratings. Participants (n = 8, 100% male) wore the wireless EEG 85.6% of scheduled nights. Wireless EEG detected measures of sleep architecture including changes in total, NREM and REM sleep time during study phases, whereas the diary detected changes in wakefulness only. Direct comparisons of five overlapping outcomes revealed lower sleep efficiency and sleep onset latency and higher awakenings and time spent awake from the wireless EEG versus sleep diary. Associations were evident between wireless EEG and increased withdrawal severity, lower sleep efficiency, less time in REM and non-REM stages 1 and 2, and more hydroxyzine treatment; sleep diary was associated with total sleep time and withdrawal only. Data provide initial evidence that a wireless EEG is a feasible and useful tool for objective monitoring of sleep in persons experiencing acute opioid withdrawal. Data are limited by the small and exclusively male sample, but provide a foundation for using wireless EEG sleep monitors for objective evaluation of sleep-related impairment in persons with OUD in support of mechanistic and treatment intervention research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1023
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 7 2021


  • Buprenorphine
  • Eeg
  • Opioid
  • Sleep
  • Withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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