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The Role of Sleep Impairments on Pain Severity in Adults with Sickle Cell Disease

Sleep is a complex process and impairments can occur at different stages of the process. Sleep impairments may include decreased total sleep time (sleep duration), an increase in the amount of time it takes to fall asleep (sleep onset latency), or an increase in the amount of wakefulness after sleep onset (sleep fragmentation) experienced by an individual (Mezick, 2013). Studies broadly suggest that sleep impairments can be directly linked to increased pain (Finan, 2013) and it is this relationship that our group chose to explore further in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) (Moscou-Jackson, 2015).