Analgesia and hypnosis are two separate entities and should result in distinct assessment and management for patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). Those patients are exposed to moderate-severe pain and they are likely to remember pain as one bothersome experience. Any cause of patient discomfort is sought with the priority given to pain and adequate analgesia. Assessing pain must rely upon the use of clinical scoring systems, although these instruments are still underused in ICU. Satisfactory levels of analgesia by continuous infusion of opioids during times without stimulation do not guarantee against pain reactions during procedures (endotracheal suctioning, mobilization, wound care and dressing change, removal of chest tube). The concept of multimodal analgesia should be extended to the ICU since it may reduce the opioids requirements. In order to facilitate systematic pain and sedation assessment and to adjust daily drug dosages accordingly, it appears crucial to promote educational programs and elaboration of protocols/guidelines in ICU. Protocols/guidelines may help caregivers to rationally use sedatives and opioids and possibly reduce mechanical ventilation and ICU length of stay.