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This chapter focuses on intimate partner violence (IPV) and sleep disturbances. A comprehensive understanding of sleep disturbances in IPV survivors has been somewhat elusive and has received relatively less attention than mental or physical consequences; however, the evidence suggests robust associations do exist. Sleep disturbances and psychopathology often co-occur following IPV experiences, suggesting some degree of shared variance and/or interaction. These sleep disturbances are often linked to IPV-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or PTSD-like symptoms. There is sufficient evidence to indicate that sleep should be investigated just as routinely as common mental health problems associated with IPV. This chapter is divided into two parts. Part 1 presents an overview of the relationships between IPV and sleep, including: (i) the basic physiology of normal sleep, (ii) the effects of IPV on sleep from a neurobiological perspective, (iii) common sleep disturbances associated with IPV, and (iv) the role of sleep in moderating or mediating the psychopathological manifestations of IPV. Part 1 therefore allows the reader to scaffold their knowledge on sleep and IPV - from basic sleep science to how sleep fragmentation and changes in sleep architecture may differentially affect mental health following IPV. Building on the understanding of sleep and IPV in Part 1, Part 2 provides an overview of salient non-pharmacological, psychological interventions for sleep disturbances associated with IPV, including insomnia, nightmares, and other sleep disturbances. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that treating sleep disturbances associated with IPV may be critical for overall recovery and well-being. Clinicians and researchers would therefore benefit from understanding the associations between IPV and sleep disturbances, along with evidence-based interventions.

Original publication





Book title

Handbook of Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Across the Lifespan: A Project of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV)

Publication Date



3149 - 3173