Sleep quality and acute pain severity among young adults with and without chronic pain: the role of biobehavioral factors

J Behav Med. 2010 Oct;33(5):335-45. doi: 10.1007/s10865-010-9263-y. Epub 2010 May 13.


Adequate sleep is essential for health across the lifespan and is likely to be influenced by different factors among those with chronic pain than among others. Questionnaires were administered to 362 college students, some of whom reported chronic pain from varied sources. Among chronic pain sufferers (n = 108), pain severity was uniquely associated with sleep quality after controlling for gender, BMI, perceived health, health behaviors, depressed mood, perceived stress, and scholastic/interpersonal self-esteem. For these participants, perceived health, alcohol use, pain medication use, and depressed mood were also associated with sleep quality, whereas for participants with non-chronic recent pain (n = 129) only perceived health and depressed mood predicted sleep. Individuals with both chronic pain and high stress had the worst sleep. Stress, alcohol use, pain, and mood may contribute to poor sleep among young adults with pain, which could lead to a cycle of long-term health problems.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / complications
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*