AbstractBackgroundSleep deprivation is extremely common in contemporary society, and is considered to be a frequent cause of behavioral disorders, mood, alertness, and cognitive performance. Although the impacts of sleep deprivation have been studied extensively in various experimental paradigms, very few studies have addressed the impact of sleep deprivation on central auditory processing (CAP). Therefore, we examined the impact of sleep deprivation on CAP, for which there is sparse information. In the present study, thirty healthy adult volunteers (17 females and 13 males, aged 30.75 ± 7.14 years) were subjected to a pure tone audiometry test, a speech recognition threshold test, a speech recognition task, the Staggered Spondaic Word Test (SSWT), and the Random Gap Detection Test (RGDT). Baseline (BSL) performance was compared to performance after 24 hours of being sleep deprived (24hSD) using the Student’s t test.ResultsMean RGDT score was elevated in the 24hSD condition (8.0 ± 2.9 ms) relative to the BSL condition for the whole cohort (6.4 ± 2.8 ms; p = 0.0005), for males (p = 0.0066), and for females (p = 0.0208). Sleep deprivation reduced SSWT scores for the whole cohort in both ears [(right: BSL, 98.4 % ± 1.8 % vs. SD, 94.2 % ± 6.3 %. p = 0.0005)(left: BSL, 96.7 % ± 3.1 % vs. SD, 92.1 % ± 6.1 %, p < 0.0001)]. These effects were evident within both gender subgroups [(right: males, p = 0.0080; females, p = 0.0143)(left: males, p = 0.0076; females: p = 0.0010).ConclusionSleep deprivation impairs RGDT and SSWT performance. These findings confirm that sleep deprivation has central effects that may impair performance in other areas of life.