Causes, Consequences, and Treatments of Sleep and Circadian Disruption in the ICU: An Official American Thoracic Society Research Statement

the American Thoracic Society Assembly on Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology

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12 Scopus citations


Background: Sleep and circadian disruption (SCD) is common and severe in the ICU. On the basis of rigorous evidence in non-ICU populations and emerging evidence in ICU populations, SCD is likely to have a profound negative impact on patient outcomes. Thus, it is urgent that we establish research priorities to advance understanding of ICU SCD. Methods: We convened a multidisciplinary group with relevant expertise to participate in an American Thoracic Society Workshop. Workshop objectives included identifying ICU SCD subtopics of interest, key knowledge gaps, and research priorities. Members attended remote sessions from March to November 2021. Recorded presentations were prepared and viewed by members before Workshop sessions. Workshop discussion focused on key gaps and related research priorities. The priorities listed herein were selected on the basis of rank as established by a series of anonymous surveys. Results: We identified the following research priorities: establish an ICU SCD definition, further develop rigorous and feasible ICU SCD measures, test associations between ICU SCD domains and outcomes, promote the inclusion of mechanistic and patient-centered outcomes within large clinical studies, leverage implementation science strategies to maximize intervention fidelity and sustainability, and collaborate among investigators to harmonize methods and promote multisite investigation. Conclusions: ICU SCD is a complex and compelling potential target for improving ICU outcomes. Given the influence on all other research priorities, further development of rigorous, feasible ICU SCD measurement is a key next step in advancing the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E49-E68
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the American Thoracic Society.


  • circadian rhythm
  • critical illness
  • delirium
  • research priority
  • sleep deficiency


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