Sleep and post stroke fatigue

This information is aimed at professionals supporting stroke survivors and their families.

Fatigue is common after stroke and includes lack of energy or an increased need to rest every day, however, fatigue is characteristically not relieved by rest or sleep.

The Royal College of Physicians National Clinical Guideline for Stroke (2016) recommends:

  • People with stroke who are medically stable but who report fatigue should be offered an assessment for mental and physical factors that may be contributing, particularly when engagement with rehabilitation or quality of life is affected.
  • People with fatigue after stroke and their family/carers should be given information, reassurance and support to identify their personal indicators and triggers for fatigue and supported to develop strategies to anticipate and manage fatigue.

In April 2019, the network ran a workshop to improve clinical management and you can view the presentations on sleep and post stroke fatigue.


Useful tools

Fatigue Assessment Scale

Fatigue Severity Scale

Pittsburg PSQI Sleep Questionnaire

Sleep algorithm

Sleep hygiene reminders

Wellbeing Man


Useful resources

Fatigue management webinar 17 November 2020

Fatigue management webinar slides 17 November 2020

Key references for sleep and fatigue

National Sleep Foundation – mindfulness information

Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms – open access journal

SLEEP – Journal for circadian rhythm and sleep

Recovery Academy GMMH – local course on overcoming sleep problems

SLEEPIO– free CBTi online tool

“Why we sleep” –  book by Matthew Walker

Saebo – company promoting sleep after a stroke

Waking up to the health benefits of sleep – resource from University of Oxford