The moderating role of trait and state mindfulness between daily sleep and physical pain symptoms: an ecological momentary assessment and actigraphy study

Christina X. Mu, Soomi Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Poorer sleep quality and insufficient sleep increase the risk of physical pain. The current study examined the daily associations between sleep and physical pain symptoms and tested the moderating role of trait and state mindfulness in this relationship. Methods: Sixty hospital nurses (M age=35.4 ± 11.8 years) completed 14-day ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and sleep actigraphy. EMA measured physical pain frequency and interference (1×/day) and state mindfulness (3×/day). Multilevel modelling was used to examine the associations at the between-person and within-person levels. Results: After nights with poorer sleep quality, lower sleep sufficiency, and more insomnia symptoms, the frequency of physical pain symptoms and pain interference were greater than usual. Overall, those with poorer sleep quality, lower sleep sufficiency, and more insomnia symptoms reported more physical pain symptoms and greater pain interference. Higher state mindfulness buffered the negative within-person association between sleep efficiency and physical pain frequency. There was evidence that the joint moderating effects of trait and state mindfulness yielded more protective benefits in the relationship between sleep quality and physical pain than trait or state mindfulness alone. Conclusion: Even without mindfulness training, one’s mindfulness may be protective against the adverse effects of poor sleep quality on physical pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-108
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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