The Pain of Sleep Loss: A Brain Characterization in Humans
Sleep loss increases the experience of pain. However, the brain mechanisms underlying altered pain processing following sleep deprivation are unknown. Moreover, it remains unclear whether ecologically modest night-to-night changes in sleep, within an individual, confer consequential day-to-day changes in experienced pain. Here, we demonstrate that acute sleep-deprivation amplifies pain reactivity within human (male and female) primary somatosensory cortex yet blunts pain-reactivity in higher-order valuation and decision-making regions of the striatum and insula cortex. Read the abstract.