The Effects Of Repeated Whole Body Warming On Sleep Architecture

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Megan M. Clarke (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Caroline Smith

Abstract: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is defined as chronic pain in the lower back for three or more consecutive months. Altered sleep architecture is often associated with CLBP and sleep deficiency with concurring side effects can augment pain, further disrupting sleep. The current study aimed to explore whole body heating as a potential therapy for CLBP. Subjects underwent seven consecutive evenings of heating, with completion of the protocol two hours prior to sleep latency onset. Pain was assessed via administration of the McGill Pain Questionnaire prior to the heating protocol (baseline), pre- and post heating on all experimental days and during a 48 hour and two week follow-up. Ability to perform specific tasks was assessed via the functional and symptoms scale, administered at baseline, prior to and following the seven day heating protocol, and during both the follow-up visits. A Sleep Profiler was used throughout the study to measure sleep architecture from the frontal cortex of the brain. A repeated measures ANOVA showed significant decreases in stage N1 sleep (p < 0.05) and increases in N3 sleep (p = 0.001) from baseline to post-treatment. Each subject’s pain perception decreased and allowed for greater functional ability. These findings suggest that seven consecutive evenings of whole body heating protocol altered sleep architecture through the increased amount of restorative stage N3 slow wave, decreased stage N1 sleep, and decreased pain perception. Only small decrements in pain were observed 48 hours and two weeks after the cessation of the intervention.

Additional Information

Clarke, M. (2016). The Effects Of Repeated Whole Body Warming On Sleep Architecture. Unpublished Master's Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2016
Chronic low back pain, Whole body heating, Sleep architecture, Thermoregulation

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