Insomnia Lowers Pain Tolerance

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 01, 2015

If you struggle to sleep at night and wake up in the middle of the night only to keep tossing and turning through the rest of the day, this news will be a bad hat. A new study that was published in the Journal Pain shows that those people who suffer from insomnia as well as other sleep problems tend to experience an increased sensitivity to pain. The results suggest that psychological factors may be responsible for contributing to a relationship between pain and sleep problems, though they do not explain it fully.

Insomnia decreases pain tolerance

Lead researcher of the study, Borge Sivertsen from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, said, “While there is clearly a strong relationship between pain and sleep, such that insomnia increases both the likelihood and severity of clinical pain, it is not clear exactly why this is the case”.

The research had comprised more than 10, 400 adults from a large, ongoing Norwegian health study. Each of the participants went through a standard pain sensitivity test. In this test, the participants had to keep their hands submerged in cold water bath.

The results showed that 32 percent of the participants were able to keep their hand in cold water throughout the test that lasted for 106 seconds. The participants suffering from insomnia were highly likely to take their hand out early. About 42 percent of the participants took their hand out early compared to the 31 percent of who suffered from insomnia. It was also noted that pain sensitivity had increased as a result of the frequency as well as severity of insomnia.

According to the findings of the study, pain sensitivity depends on the amount of time that one takes to fall asleep and not to the total time one sleeps. The most common causes are said to be depression and stress. Therefore, the study highlights that efforts be made to improve quality of sleep among those patients who suffer chronic pain and vice versa.

Read more Health News.

Image source: Getty

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