Background: There are emerging data indicating that sleep disturbance may be linked with an increase in opioid use. The majority of sickle cell disease (SCD) patients experience sleep disturbances, which can elevate pain severity and pain catastrophizing, both of which are important predictors of opioid consumption. Purpose: We conducted a preliminary investigation on the association between previous night sleep disturbance and short-acting opioid use, as well as the potential mediating roles of pain severity and pain catastrophizing. Because sex is associated with sleep disturbance, pain-related experiences, and opioid use, we also explored the potential moderating role of sex. Methods: Participants were 45 SCD patients who were prescribed opioids. For 3 months, sleep diaries were collected immediately upon participants' awakening. Daily pain severity, pain catastrophizing, and prescription opioid use measures were collected before bedtime. Results: Multilevel structural equation modeling revealed that wake time after sleep onset (WASO) during the previous night (Time 1) predicted greater short-acting opioid use during the next day (Time 2). Pain severity and pain catastrophizing measured during the next day (Time 2) also mediated the association between the two. Sex moderation analysis showed that the positive association between WASO and pain severity was largely driven by women. Conclusion: These findings provide some preliminary evidence as to the mechanism linking sleep continuity disturbance and opioid requirement in SCD patients. Future studies should replicate and extend these findings with clearer temporal information and employing more refined measures of sleep continuity and prescription opioid use in a larger sample.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health