High Quality Sleep Helps Chronic Pain Sufferers

Chronic pain sufferers are always seeking long-term solutions that will relieve their pain. While there are some medications and diets that can help manage the pain, there is new evidence that good quality sleep helps treat chronic pain. According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick’s Department of Psychology, good-quality sleep helps treat chronic pain. Some of the disorders that cause lifelong pain and discomfort include chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

They studied the physical activity of chronic pain sufferers and compared to their quality of sleep. Many chronic pain sufferers are unable to be physically active because of the high levels of pain they experience. This can actually prolong their illness because “very often, clinicians would prescribe exercise classes, physiotherapy, walking and cycling…as part of the treatment, but who would like to engage in these activities when they feel like a zombie?” Many health regimes assigned by physicians to promote better health throughout chronic pain include an exercise routine.

Of course, sleep has been proven to impact the brain and memory function. Being able to better resist physical pain as a result of sleep is a breakthrough in chronic pain treatment. According to Dr. Nicole Tang, “Most of the patients struggle to remain physically active after onset of pain and these chronic pain sufferers reported an improvement in physical well-being and activities after a sound night’s sleep.” Patients with better sleep were able to be physically active. In a comparison, sleep was a better predictor of physical activity than morning ratings of pain intensity or of mood. Chronic pain can last for years without any relief. The possibilities of better daytime functioning means daily life would be easier for these sufferers.

There are considerable implications of this study on treatment for chronic pain sufferers. Since sleep has a natural recuperative power which can be overlooked in pain management. Dr. Tang said that “the prospect of promoting physical activity than morning ratings of pain intensity or mood.” Instead of reactive medicine, there could be more emphasis on proactive medicine. The researchers hope to conduct more studies on the recuperative power of sleep and how it is often overlooked in pain management.