Sleep and Pain: Managing the Interactions

A one-day course run by the Physiotherapy Pain Association in collaboration with Pain Training and Education

Tutors: Andrew Green and Alex Westcombe

Andrew and Alex are co-editors of “Sleep: multi-professional perspectives”, published in 2012 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Andrew is a Specialist Occupational Therapist working in a sleep disorder clinic, and Alex is a Clinical Psychologist working in a pain management service. Andrew’s second book, co-edited with Cary Brown, “An occupational therapist’s guide to sleep and problems” was published in 2015.

This course introduces the theory and evidence base for a cognitive behavioural approach to pain-related sleep problems. The assessment of sleep problems is linked to individualised treatment planning and there is emphasis on practical skills development. This course is targeted at all physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals who aim to enhance their knowledge and develop skills to support patients with pain-related sleep problems.

Course Aims & Objectives


To introduce and apply a biopsychosocial model to the assessment and management of sleep problems for people with pain, using cognitive and behavioural principles.


At the end of the course the delegate should have an understanding of:

  • normal sleep
  • how sleep is measured, including the use of sleep diaries
  • major sleep disorders
  • the distinction between fatigue and sleepiness
  • the relationships between pain and sleep
  • the assessment of sleep in routine clinical practice
  • non-pharmacological sleep interventions including:
    • sleep hygiene
    • stimulus control
    • cognitive and behavioural approaches including cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBT-i)
  • the role of exercise in sleep management
  • the evidence base regarding non-pharmacological sleep interventions
  • stress and worry management in relation to sleep management
  • when to refer to a sleep specialist