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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1999 Aug;20(4):244-52.

Importance of sleep in the management of pediatric pain.

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Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania, USA.


This article outlines several aspects of sleep regulation relevant to pediatric pain management. A broad range of connections between sleep and pain are described: (1) pain can interfere with the quality and quantity of children's sleep; (2) insufficient sleep (quality or quantity) can cause daytime sequelae (behavioral and emotional changes) that interfere with the coping skills necessary for effective pain management; (3) fear and anxiety often have a negative impact on both pain and sleep; (4) feelings of safety and control frequently have a positive effect on both sleep and pain symptoms; (5) adequate sleep seems to promote both physiological (tissue repair) and psychological (transient cessation of the perception of pain signals) processes relevant to recovery from pain, injury, and illness; and (6) treatment approaches to pediatric sleep and pain problems show considerable overlap with respect to many pharmacological as well as cognitive-behavioral interventions. Given these multiple links, a better understanding of sleep--and its importance in physical and mental health--is likely to be of value to clinicians and researchers working in areas of pediatric pain management. One specific hypothesis to be addressed is the possible contribution of sleep disruption as a step in the progression to some chronic pain syndromes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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