The Interrelationship between Sleep and Chronic Pain in Adolescents

Curr Opin Physiol. 2019 Oct:11:25-28. doi: 10.1016/j.cophys.2019.04.012. Epub 2019 Apr 22.


Over half of youth with chronic pain report sleep deficiency including difficulties falling asleep, maintaining sleep, feeling unrested, and experiencing short sleep duration. Sleep deficiency has been shown to play a causal role in the development or worsening of chronic pain, and is associated with a variety of negative consequences for youth with chronic pain. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of the literature on the interrelationship of sleep and chronic pain in adolescents. We review the impact and prevalence of sleep disturbances, conceptual models of the interrelationship of sleep and pain, biobehavioral mechanisms and risk factors, sleep assessment, and treatment of sleep deficiency and chronic pain in adolescents. Our recommendations for future research include understanding biobehavioral mechanisms that underlie the link between chronic pain and sleep deficiency to help guide development and testing of treatments for co-occurring pain and sleep disturbance in adolescents.

Keywords: adolescent; child; pain; pediatric; sleep.