What You Need to Know About The Connection Between Sleep and Pain

What You Need to Know About The Connection Between Sleep and Pain

When you’re in pain, sleep can come hard and reluctantly no matter how tired you might be. While the science of understanding, exactly, what sleep is and what it specifically does for us is being continually researched, doctors do know that without sleep our physical and mental condition deteriorates rapidly. During sleep, the body slows down, but the brain fires up and becomes extremely active. Current sleep theory suggests the mind is sorting and organizing information and memories during the critical Rapid Eye Movement phase of sleep.

Pain can not only make it harder to fall asleep, it can interrupt sleep as the nerve impulses of the discomfort flare and spike. Sleep that doesn’t reach the REM phase is far less effective at helping us rest. Tossing and turning isn’t just annoying, it can be dangerous if it leads to sleep deprivation. Without being able to stay asleep long enough to enter and complete REM sleep cycles, you’re getting only a fraction of the necessary benefit of sleep.

Perversely, when we’re sleep deprived, we tend to feel pain more acutely. This can create a sort of cycle, where the pain keeps us from being well rested, and the fatigue makes the pain more noticeable, and leads to even worse sleep. The best way to prevent this is to consult your doctor for effective pain management, so you can get rest and heal more effectively.

Key Points:

  • 1Our bodies are very active when we are sleeping with a lot of our systems functioning fast.
  • 2Any pain, whether it is chronic or acute, can affect your quality of sleep.
  • 3Poor sleep also can increase your pain because we need to be well rested to recover from our ailments.


When your body is uncomfortable, it can make your mind more alert and cause you to focus on the pain, which makes it harder to relax and drift off to dreamland.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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