Alterations of sleep structure have been reported in asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected subjects. In these patients some authors have found an increased percentage of slow wave sleep (SWS) and a SWS preponderance in the second half of the night, as well as subjective sleep complaints. Other authors have found an increased stage 1 non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and reduced stage 2 NREM percentages in asymptomatic subjects. We evaluated the macrostructure and the microstructure (cyclic alternating pattern, CAP) of sleep in nine HIV-infected asymptomatic men without sleep complaints or psychiatric illness, in comparison with nine age-matched controls. Our study showed a decreased amount of SWS and a significantly higher CAP rate in HIV-subjects, suggesting an altered organization of the sleep process in these patients.
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