Sleep disturbances and sleep disorders in adults living with chronic pain: a meta-analysis

Chronic pain (CP) is widespread and commonly associated with sleep disturbances. However, research has often used poor quality measures of sleep which is often focused on specific pain conditions, thereby limiting its reliability and applicability to the wider CP population. This is a meta-analysis of the studies that used objective polysomnographic measures of sleep or examined diagnosed sleep disorders in people with CP. The results found that the pooled prevalence of sleep disorders in CP was 44%, with insomnia (72%), restless legs syndrome (32%) and obstructive sleep apnea (32%) being the most common diagnoses. Also, objective polysomnographic measures indicate that individuals with CP experience significant sleep disturbances, particularly with respect to sleep initiation and maintenance. Hence, it is imperative that sleep disturbances and disorders be assessed and treated in conjunction with the CP.