The purpose of this article was to review theories, models, and frameworks of sleep disturbances referenced in the cancer literature. Sleep-wake disturbances in cancer are a significant problem that negatively affects quality of life. There is no previously published review of the theories, models, or frameworks used to study sleep-wake disturbances in the context of cancer. Describing existing theories or models and their application in cancer is important to advance knowledge in this area. Two theories and 9 models were identified for review. These have been used to further understand the problem of sleep-wake disturbances as a primary or secondary symptom within the cancer literature. Searches were conducted from January 1, 1970, to July 31, 2008, to find relevant articles using 4 electronic databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed, and PsychINFO. On the basis of the search, 73 descriptive or intervention studies were identified and reviewed. Most research was atheoretical, with no identified theory, model, or framework. In studies that did use theory or models, few were applied in more than one study. Although several commonalities across models did emerge, a more comprehensive and widely used model could help guide nursing research to facilitate effective symptom management for this prominent problem in cancer.