3.4 Sleep Disturbance

What medications would be recommended to help him sleep?

1.    No agreement currently as to what medications are best for sleeping post ABI.

  • Although many medications may be given, there is very little in the literature discussing their effectiveness with the ABI population.


  • Concerns arise with using lorazepam and zopiclone long term, such as dependency or abuse of the medications.
  • Caution is recommended with prescribing any of these medications.


Pharmacological treatments to assist with sleep post ABI




Amount Given


Level of Evidence

Methylphenidate 62

To assist those with an ABI in improving their sleep/wake cycles.

5 to 10 mg was given at 8 am and 2 pm.

Methylphenidate was not found to be effective in improving the sleep-wake cycle of those who have sustained a TBI.

Level 2

Lorazepam and Zopiclone


Medications were given to assist with sleep disorders resulting from the ABI.

0 to 1 mg/day PRN of lorazepam was given.

3.75 to 7.5 mg PRN of zipiclone was given.

Both lorazepam and zopiclone are effective in assisting with insomnia symptoms post ABI.

Level 1

For more information on treatments used for sleep disorders post ABI please see ERABI/Fatigue and Sleep Disorders Post ABI.