Sleep and pain work together as one and the more you cannot sleep, the more pain you will be in, and vice versa. This can be a vicious cycle and breaking it is key to a good night’s sleep, alongside reducing your pain. If you are feeling sleep deprived and in pain, it may be that your lack of sleep is contributing to the pain you are in, here’s how.
Poor Sleep and Pain
It has been found that sleep deprivation can increase the amount of pain we feel. If we are not rested enough, the body can be become much more sensitive to any pain, making the pain feel worse than it is by reducing our pain tolerance levels. One of the main conditions where sleep-deprived pain becomes apparent is fibromyalgia. Sleeping with your mouth open can also cause poor sleep, which leads to other painful complications such as worsened asthma or sleep apnea. If you do sleep with your mouth open and you are constantly in pain with a dry mouth each time you wake, this device forces you to breathe through your nose and could improve your sleep routine.
Pain and Poor Sleep
Just as poor sleep can impact pain, pain also impacts sleep. For many people suffering from chronic pain, sleeping is a nightmare and poor sleep can lead to more pain. If your body feels uncomfortable, it can be difficult to relax enough to fall asleep, even with pain killers. For those with arthritis, moving around whilst asleep could cause you to wake up through the night due to pain. All in all, this will impact your quality of sleep, leaving you feeling worse in the morning. Whilst you may already suffer from pain, the poor sleep will only make it worse.
What Came First?
If you think poor sleep is contributing or causing pain, it is first worth determining the main cause of your pain. Is it because you suffer from a condition that can cause chronic pain or is your bad sleep causing headaches or other painful symptoms? Whatever the case, determining first the cause can aid in treating your pain. It may be worth keeping a pain diary and if you are struggling to find out what exactly is happening when you sleep, you may have to partake in a sleep study.
What Can I Do Now?
Once you have determined the cause of your pain, speak to your doctor if you have not already. If it is that you cannot sleep, and it is causing you pain, you may need to begin taking sleeping tablets or attending therapy sessions if you aren’t sleeping due to stress. There may be some over the counter solutions for your pain and this may be enough to stop any pain from occurring. If you snore, you may not be getting a good night’s sleep, and this can cause migraines and extreme fatigue. You can purchase many anti-snoring devices to help with this. If you have a chronic condition that is affecting your sleep routine and making your pain even more difficult to manage, speak to your doctor who can update your pain management plan. It may be that he increases your dose of pain medication before sleeping or introduces you to a stronger tablet for bedtime.
As sleep and pain are so strongly interlinked, it is often the case that poor sleep causes pain or worsens existing pain. Our body needs sleep in order to work as it should, so being sleep deprived can cause many unpleasant and painful symptoms.