Stimulants are widely prescribed to manage attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. Stimulants promote wakefulness and can produce insomnia side effects. We hypothesized that systematic studies of sleep effects would reveal patterns of sleep impairment that may be important for clinicians to monitor and manage. We conducted a review and analysis of studies that measured sleep systematically during stimulant treatment in adults. We identified nine studies that met our search criteria, including four double-blind placebo-controlled studies. All studies recorded self-report subjective sleep quality data, three studies collected actigraphy data, and three studies collected polysomnography data. One study found better subjective sleep quality under open-label treatment conditions. Both polysomnography studies found improvement in aspects of sleep patterns. Two of the actigraphy studies suggested that adults receiving stimulant treatment may have less movement during sleep, and one showed reduction in amount of sleep. Further research could inform best practices for maintaining sleep quality during stimulant treatment.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.