Affective relations of sleep in rehabilitation: cutting across social and biological divide to study how sleep comes to matter in rehabilitation


There is evidence that sleep quality and quantity is affected by orthopedic hospitalization due to trauma or surgery. Furthermore, sleep is connected to rehabilitation outcome and patients report sleep as one of the most significant elements going through orthopedic rehabilitation. Part of this literature emphasizes that this significance is connected to the subjective experience of sleep. However, little conceptualization is made about subjective significance of sleep. From an ethnographic position, I study how sleep practices are enacted in rehabilitation at home for older patients discharged from orthopedic hospitalization to explore subjective significance of sleep in rehabilitation. Inspired by a Deleuzian perspective on health and illness, I theoretical approach rehabilitation as the process and the possibility for the changed body to interact with the social and material world in new ways and adapt to the present reality. This concept of rehabilitation brings in a focus on the body as situated in a local context and life in which transformations are mobilized. Through an empirical exploration of sleep practice, I offer new conceptualizations of sleep and how sleep is affected by and affecting rehabilitation. Through this exploration of sleep in rehabilitation, I generate the concept of relatedness as the link to understand how sleep takes on subjective significance in rehabilitation.

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Correspondence to Trine Schifter Larsen.

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Larsen, T.S. Affective relations of sleep in rehabilitation: cutting across social and biological divide to study how sleep comes to matter in rehabilitation. Soc Theory Health (2021).

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  • Sleep
  • Rehabilitation
  • Aging
  • Body
  • Subjective significance
  • Affect
  • Relational ontology
  • Intra-activity