The aetiology of sleep disruptions is unknown, but hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause have been shown to potentially affect how well a woman sleeps. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate whether hormonal contraceptives are associated with a decreased quality of sleep and increased sleep duration in women of reproductive age.
This review will analyse data from randomised controlled trials or non-randomised comparative studies investigating the association between hormonal contraceptives and sleep outcomes among women of reproductive age. Reviews addressing the same research question with similar eligibility criteria will be included. A literature search will be performed using the MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases from inception to 7 March 2021. The Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias for Randomised Trials V.2.0 and The Risk of Bias for Non-randomised Studies of Interventions tool will be used to assess risk of bias for each outcome in eligible studies. Two reviewers will independently assess eligibility of studies and risk of bias and extract the data. All extracted data will be presented in tables and narrative form. For sleep measures investigated by two or more studies with low heterogeneity, we will conduct random-effects meta-analysis to estimate the magnitude of the overall effect of hormonal contraceptives. If studies included in this systematic review form a connected network, a network meta-analysis will be conducted to estimate the comparative effect of different contraceptives. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach will be used to summarise the quality of evidence. Our protocol follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols 2015 guidelines.
Ethics and dissemination
Ethics approval is not required as data were sourced from previously reported studies. The findings of this review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at relevant conferences.
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