Few studies have investigated sleep in Veterans with comorbid traumatic brain injury (TBI) and chronic pain.
To describe mood and cognitive correlates with sleep disturbance in a sample of Veterans with both TBI and chronic pain.
Cross-sectional, correlational analyses were completed using baseline data from a randomized controlled trial comparing psychosocial treatments for pain in Veterans with TBI. Enrollment occurred between July 2015 and January 2017. Self-report measures of hours slept, insomnia severity, depression and PTSD symptoms were collected along with a brief neuropsychological assessment.
Participants (n = 221) were an average age of 37.2 years (SD = 8.2) and mostly male (89%). Participants reported sleeping an average of 4.9 h a night (SD = 1.4) with an average Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) score of 17.4 (SD = 5.4) suggesting moderate insomnia symptoms. Fewer hours slept was associated with higher depression scores (r = -0.28, p < 0.001) and slower processing speed (r = 0.23, p < 0.001). Increasing insomnia severity was associated with greater depression (r = 0.57, p < 0.001) and PTSD symptoms (r = 0.44, p < 0.001), and slower processing speed (r = -0.22, p < 0.001).
The average ISI score was above the clinical cut off for insomnia diagnosis. Results suggest that those with more severe insomnia symptoms report higher depression and PTSD symptoms as well as exhibit slower processing speed. Improving sleep in this population may be important for improving outcome following TBI.

Published by Elsevier Inc.