Obviously, itchiness can cause sleep deprivation to human as shown in many clinical cases. But I want to know if a sleep deprivation can cause itchiness or at least confuse our brain of spotting itchy area.

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I asked my biology teacher which part of our brain takes change of itchiness. She supposed that the cerebral cortex will do it because it processes tactile sensations.

  • What research did your biology teacher do? Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 20:13
  • I don't understand what relevance itch perception in the brain has to your question.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:31
  • @GrahamChiu she did few, just gave me some supposes.. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 16:15
  • I am gathering more informations. I will read some papers on itching and link here Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Experimental sleep deprivation has been shown to cause psychotic symptomatology. Although not explicitly mentioned, one might suppose that itching might develop as a psychotic symptom but other than supposition it is hard to imagine any other mechanism as to why sleep deprivation might cause pain, of which itching is one form of.

The recognised causes of nocturnal pruritus include


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Chronic idiopathic urticaria
  • Infestations (scabies, bedbugs, pediculosis, pinworms)
  • Lichen planus
  • Lichen simplex chronicus
  • Prurigo nodularis


  • Liver disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Hematopoietic disorders

  • Neurological (e.g., brachioradial pruritus)

  • Psychological (delusional ideations, depression, schizophrenia, stress)

  • Substance abuse

  • Advanced age (senile) pruritus

  • Restless legs syndrome


  • Thank you for your answer! But I maybe have to study more to ynderstand your answer and press accept button :) Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 8:50
  • Okay, your answer can be divided into two parts, sleep deprivation-> itchness(by psychotic symptomatology) and itchness-> sleep deprivation. And your answer has my wanted information (Sleep depribation -> itchness) Then thanks to your answer my next question would be the mechanism that psychotic symptomatology cause itchness or something. Thanks anyway. Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 8:54

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