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date: 23 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

With the advent of modern lifestyles, there has been a significant extension of daily activities, mostly at the cost of sleep. Lack of sleep affects many biological systems, including various cognitive functions, the immune system, metabolism, and pain. Both sleep and pain are complex neurological processes that encompass many dynamic components. As a result, defining the precise interactions between these two systems represents a challenge, especially for chronic paradigms. This chapter describes how sleep is measured and how it can be experimentally altered in humans and animal models, and, in turn, how sleep disturbances, either acute or chronic, can affect different aspects of pain. Possible mechanisms involved are discussed, including an increase in inflammatory processes, a loss of nociceptive inhibitory pathways, and a defect in the cognitive processing of noxious inputs.

Keywords: sleep, non-REM sleep, sleep deprivation, chronic sleep restriction, pain, nociception, inhibitory descending controls, immune system, nucleus accumbens

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