Objectives: This study identified daily associations between sleep, emotion, and marital functioning in the context of chronic pain. Because spouses' sleep is compromised on nights when patients experience more pain, we set out to identify implications of spouses' sleep for their own emotion (anger) upon waking and marital interaction (marital tension) throughout the rest of the day. We further considered whether spouses' critical attitudes about patients' pain-related coping exacerbated associations between their sleep, morning anger, and marital tension. Method: Data came from a study of knee osteoarthritis patients (50+ years old) and spouses (N = 138 couples) who completed daily diaries across 22 days. Multilevel models were estimated to test hypotheses. Results: Spouses woke up angrier on mornings when they reported that their sleep was more unrefreshing than usual. This association was stronger among more critical spouses. Morning anger resulting from unrefreshing sleep, however, did not predict marital tension throughout the rest of the day. Discussion: Findings highlight the potential value of intervention efforts aimed at promoting spouses' sleep quality in an effort to offset negative emotional consequences that may undermine spouses' and patients' adjustment in the context of chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-936
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 16 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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