Sleep-wake disturbance in patients with brain tumors

Terri S. Armstrong, Marcia Y. Shade, Ghislain Breton, Mark R. Gilbert, Anita Mahajan, Michael E. Scheurer, Elizabeth Vera, Ann Malone Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Sleep-wake disturbances are defined as perceived or actual alterations in sleep that result in impaired daytime functioning. Unlike other cancers, there is limited information about sleep-wake disturbances in adults with primary brain tumors throughout the illness trajectory. Sleep-wake disturbance is among the most severe and common symptoms reported by primary brain-tumor patients, particularly those undergoing radiation therapy. As with other cancers and neurologic illness, sleep-wake disturbance may also be clustered or related to other symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and cognitive impairment. There is increasing evidence for a genetic basis of normal sleep and sleep regulation in healthy adults. Specific mutations and single nucleotide variants have been reported to be associated with both fatigue and sleep-wake disorders, and both inflammation and alterations in circadian rhythms have been postulated to have a potential role. Guidelines for assessment and interventions have been developed, with cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, and sleep hygiene demonstrating benefit in patients with other solid tumors. Further research is needed to identify risk and appropriate treatment in the brain-tumor patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Braintumor
  • Hypersomnia
  • Insomnia
  • Radiation
  • Sleep-wark
  • Symptoms
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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