Many people these days suffer from problems sleeping or profound and chronic lack of sleep. Sometimes, this happens due to life stressors. Sometimes, because of pain.
But did you know that not getting enough sleep can cause pain in the body? So, the answer to the question in our heading is “yes”.
But how does lack of sleep cause pain, I’m sure readers are wondering? Let’s talk about that in this post.
Insomnia can be painful
Every living thing sleeps. Even simple organisms without nervous systems do it. Laboratory animals deprived of sleep will die rapidly without enough sleep. While no one has provided empirical evidence (to date) of why this happens, the phenomenon regularly sees a pronounced reduction in body temperature, with organ failure following hot on its heels.
While lack of sleep doesn’t appear to do this to humans in the short term, it’s clear that not sleeping enough can result in myriad physiological problems which conspire to create a negative impact on overall health.
So, why don’t we take sleep problems more seriously? Some say they can sleep when they’re dead but if we don’t sleep, death will arrive on our doorstep much sooner than it might.
Let’s look at a few of the painful health conditions caused by sleep deprivation.
Migraines, for example. A study examining almost 1900 migraine sufferers revealed that a lack of sleep made the frequency and severity of migraine attacks worse. Getting enough sleep was seen to reduce them. Anyone who suffers from migraines will tell you that if something as simple as getting enough sleep could help them control their migraines, that they’ll do what’s required to get it.
Opportunistic infections are more likely to attack a sleep-deprived body than one that’s rested. People experiencing periods of insomnia, for example, were seen to be absent from work more often due to illness (and not just because of not getting enough sleep). And after a period of insomnia, this effect can endure for up to 2 years.
But the health problems don’t end there. A lack of sleep can contribute to illnesses as serious as heart disease and metabolic syndrome (which is caused by inflammation). Obesity is another health risk which can lead to multiple health problems, including diabetes.
Finally, sleep deprivation opens the door to mood disorders. 40% of psychiatric problems are caused by a lack of sleep. Mood disorders are usually accompanied by insomnia.
Pain is a horrible reality which affects millions of people in the USA. The connection between pain and lack of sleep is well-established but you may not have known that some of that pain is directly caused by not sleeping well.
If you’re suffering from pain for any reason, don’t rule out seeing a medical professional to help you get back to feeling more like yourself. At Back & Body New Jersey, we’re pain specialists who work as a team to create individual programs of care for our patients.
If you’ve got pain, we’ve got the solution. Contact us.