Chronic Opioid Therapy and Sleep: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Position Statement


There is a complex relationship among opioids, sleep and daytime function. Patients and medical providers should be aware that chronic opioid therapy can alter sleep architecture and sleep quality as well as contribute to daytime sleepiness. It is also important for medical providers to be cognizant of other adverse effects of chronic opioid use including the impact on respiratory function during sleep. Opioids are associated with several types of sleep-disordered breathing, including sleep-related hypoventilation, central sleep apnea (CSA), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Appropriate screening, diagnostic testing, and treatment of opioid-associated sleep-disordered breathing can improve patients’ health and quality of life. Collaboration among medical providers is encouraged to provide high quality, patient-centered care for people who are treated with chronic opioid therapy.


Rosen IM, Aurora RN, Kirsch DB, Carden KA, Malhotra RK, Ramar K, Abbasi-Feinberg F, Kristo DA, Martin JL, Olson EJ, Rosen CL, Rowley JA, Shelgikar AV; American Academy of Sleep Medicine Board of Directors. Chronic opioid therapy and sleep: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019;15(11):1671–1673.