University of Oulu

Jeremy R. Chang, Siu-Ngor Fu, Xun Li, Shirley X. Li, Xiaoyue Wang, Zhixing Zhou, Sabina M. Pinto, Dino Samartzis, Jaro Karppinen, Arnold YL. Wong, The differential effects of sleep deprivation on pain perception in individuals with or without chronic pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 66, 2022, 101695, ISSN 1087-0792,

The differential effects of sleep deprivation on pain perception in individuals with or without chronic pain : a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Author: Chang, Jeremy R.1; Fu, Siu-Ngor1; Li, Xun1;
Organizations: 1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
2Sleep Research Clinic and Laboratory, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
3Department of Rehabilitation, Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China
4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago, USA
5Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Rehabilitation Services of South Karelia Social and Health Care District, Lappeenranta, Finland
7Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-07-10


Many experimental sleep deprivation (SD) studies were conducted to clarify the causal relationship between sleep and pain. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to update the evidence regarding the effects of different experimental SD paradigms on various pain outcomes. Five databases were searched from their inception to June 2022. Separate random-effects models were used to estimate the pooled effect sizes (ES) of different experimental SD paradigms on various pain outcomes. Thirty-one studies involving 699 healthy individuals and 47 individuals with chronic pain were included. For healthy individuals, limited evidence substantiated that total SD significantly reduced pain threshold and tolerance (ES 0.74–0.95), while moderate evidence supported that partial SD significantly increased spontaneous pain intensity (ES 0.30). Very limited to moderate evidence showed that sleep fragmentation significantly increased peripheral and central sensitization in healthy individuals (ES 0.42–0.79). Further, there was very limited evidence that total or partial SD significantly aggravated spontaneous pain intensity in people with chronic pain. Our results accentuated that different SD paradigms differentially increased subjective pain intensity and worsened peripheral/central pain sensitization in healthy individuals, whereas the corresponding findings in people with chronic pain remain uncertain. Further rigorous studies are warranted to quantify their relationships in clinical populations.

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Series: Sleep medicine reviews
ISSN: 1087-0792
ISSN-E: 1532-2955
ISSN-L: 1087-0792
Volume: 66
Article number: 101695
DOI: 10.1016/j.smrv.2022.101695
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3112 Neurosciences
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (