Sleep & Pain > Overview
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This module presents sleep and pain issues in the critical care setting. Pain, sleep physiology and the consequences of inadequate sleep may be a cause of complications for the critically ill patient.

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify the stages of sleep and the physiological changes for each stage
  • Recognize the effect of prolonged lack of sleep on yourself and relate these changes to potential effects for patients
  • Describe elements in the patient’s situation which may interfere with sleep
  • Explore disruptions in the critical care patient's sleep stages
  • Provide appropriate interventions to promote sleep
  • Define pain
  • Discuss pain facts and pain challenges in critical care
  • Identify the basic physiology of pain
  • Identify types of acute pain
  • Discuss pain assessment in the ICU
  • Describe the various pharmacologic /non-pharmacologic interventions
  • Discuss pain management in specific patient populations


McCaffery, M., & Ferrell, B. (1996). Correcting misconceptions about pain assessment and use of
opioid analgesics: Educational strategies aimed at public concerns. Nursing Outlook, 44(4),184-190.

Mersky H, Bogduk N, eds. Classification of Chronic Pain. Seattle, WA; IASP Press; 1994.

St. Marie, B. (Ed.) (2002). Core curriculum for pain management nursing. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.

Urden, L.D., Stacy, K.M., & Lough, M.E. (2018). Critical Care Nursing Diagnosis and Management.. (8th ed). Boston: Mosby.

Vitello, J.; Harvey, M.; Pine, L.; Searle, L.; Thomas, K.; Ramsay, M.; and Davidson, J. (1996).
Management of Sedation: The Nursing Perspective. CCN/Supplement, August, 1-16

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