Objective: There are no qualitative studies of sleep in gout; the aim of this study was to examine the impact of gout on sleep. Methods: Nine nominal groups were conducted, oversampling for African-Americans and women with gout. Patients discussed and rank-ordered their concerns. Results: Nine nominal groups with 46 gout patients were conducted with mean age, 61 years (s.d. 10.6) and gout duration, 14.9 years (s.d. 12); 63% were men, 46% African-American, 52% married, 46% retired and 63% were allopurinol users. The most frequently cited highly ranked concerns could be divided into three categories. The first category, character of sleep interruption, included the concerns: severe and complete sleep interruption by gout flare pain (nine groups); and inability to get rapid eye movement sleep (one group). The second category, causes of sleep interruption, included: inability to get into a comfortable position during sleep (six groups); anxiety and depression associated with severe gout pain (seven groups); sleep interruption by moderate chronic joint pain (three groups); frequent trips to the bathroom interfering with sleep (two groups); gout medication side effects (four groups); frequent trips to the emergency room (one group); joint swelling with physical/functional deficit interfering with sleep (two groups); and flare pain interfering with sleep apnoea management (two groups). The final category, consequences of sleep interruption, included: effect on daily functioning (two groups); worsens other health conditions, which then affect sleep (four groups); and cumulative effect on sleep (one group). Conclusion: Gout has significant impact on sleep quantity, quality and architecture. Sleep disruption due to gout has several pathways and significant consequences.