Transient Effects of Sleep on Next-Day Pain and Fatigue in Older Adults With Symptomatic Osteoarthritis

Daniel Whibley, Tiffany J. Braley, Anna L. Kratz* (Corresponding Author), Susan L. Murphy ScD

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Poor sleep quality has been associated with greater pain and fatigue in people living with osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this micro-longitudinal study was to determine whether sleep impacts the diurnal pattern of next-day OA-related pain and fatigue. Community-dwelling older adults (≥65 years) with hip and/or knee OA provided data over 5 days using daily diaries and wrist-worn actigraphs. Pain and fatigue intensity were measured on awakening, at 11 am, 3 pm, 7 pm, and bedtime. Subjective previous night sleep quality was measured on awakening. Multilevel linear regression models examined interactions between sleep variables and time of next-day symptom reports. One hundred sixty participants provided 785 days of data (median age = 71 years; 62% female). Analysis of time interaction effects identified an association between poor sleep quality and more morning pain and fatigue. Although the effect on awakening was more pronounced for fatigue, differences in both symptoms attributable to sleep quality attenuated as the day progressed. Investigation of actigraphy-based sleep parameters revealed no significant interactions with time of symptom measurement. These findings observed in a sample of older adults with mild-to-moderate OA symptoms warrant further investigation in a sample with more severe symptoms and more pronounced sleep dysfunction and/or sleep disorders.

This article investigates the impact of sleep on next-day pain and fatigue of older adults with OA. On awakening from a night of poor quality sleep, pain and fatigue intensity were heightened. However, the effect was not sustained throughout the day, suggesting the morning may be an optimal time for symptom interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1373-1382
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number11
Early online date11 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • osteoarthritis
  • sleep
  • pain
  • fatigue
  • actigraphy
  • Osteoarthritis


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