Study confirms that lack of sleep can increase chronic pain

There are a number of consequences of not having a night of proper sleep. In fact, studies have linked a lack of proper sleep with severe health complications. It is very common for people to complain about their pain once they wake up. Particularly, after not having a good adequate rest, the pain seems to have intensified.

If that is the case, then you are not alone. Thousands of Americans have brought this issue to doctors with ways to overcome the problem.

Medications may be one way but they are not without their own side effects.

Needless to say, the best solution out, henceforth, is to make necessary changes in the sleep schedule. Simply put, get a greater amount of rest than you are normally getting!

Lack of Sleep & Chronic Pain

Scientists belonging to UC Berkeley got together to examine the relationship between lack of sleep and intensity of chronic pain. To investigate their concerns, 25 individuals were asked to volunteer for the study.

The participants had their schedule directed by the team of scientists. In the first half of the research, the individuals were supposed to undergo a routine characterized by proper sleep. The number of hours set ranged from 8 to 9 hours. This went on for a week until amendments were made for the second half of the research.

Subsequently, after a week’s time, the participants remained up for the most part of the night. Their sleeping hours dropped to 3 to 4 hours per night. Which is considerably lower than the required number of hours by the human body.

A heated electrode was used to collect data based on the temperature of the skin. Alongside that, participants also underwent MRI scans to detect any possibilities of brain sensory changes that would result.

In both scenarios, the 25 individuals were observed thoroughly every night. The findings were noted and scientists aimed at drawing a relationship between sleep and pain.

The results were rather surprising yet at the same time are worrisome.

The Findings

At the termination of the experiment, scientists confirmed a positive relationship between lack of sleep & chronic pain. That is to say, not receiving an adequate amount of rest can actually intensify the pain for individuals.

During the sleep-deprived schedule, a lower threshold for pain was reported. Meaning by, the participants felt pain even at lower temperatures. The effect was so large that the intensity seemed to prolong for the most part of the day. The result held true for about 80% of the participants.

On the other hand, even the MRI scans did not pain a very fortunate picture either. The somatosensory cortex, responsible for the feeling of pain showed higher levels of activity during sleep deprivation.

Long story short, lack of proper rest at night was basically intensifying pain among individuals. The findings were supported by the MRI scan results and the heated electrode experiment.

This is a rather worrisome thing that needs to be accounted for.

A major chunk of the US population suffers from sleep problems. Proper adjustments in the daily routine need to be made particularly by people suffering from chronic pain.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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