If you’re sleep deprived, it’s likely that your work productivity will be affected by it. You’ll struggle when performing tasks that usually took you a couple of minutes, among a myriad of other issues. This happens because a lack of sleep leads to cognitive impairment which hinders one’s ability to learn or form new memories. However, that’s not the only thing that sleep deprivation causes.
Your experience of pain is influenced by behavioural and cognitive processes. This is one of the primary reasons why the role of sleep is pivotal in pain management. The relationship between the two factors is co-dependent; this is evident in the fact that approximately 50 percent of individuals who have insomnia suffer from chronic pain.
Unpacking the relationship
Pain problems are significantly reduced with better sleep. Experiments conducted established the relationship between sleep and pain by measuring the pain thresholds in individuals who had slept and those who hadn’t slept. By monitoring the activity of the brain, it was established that individuals who hadn’t slept had a significantly lower pain threshold. This confirmed that lack of sleep leads to the impairment of natural mechanisms of the brain that are responsible for relieving pain.
How much sleep do we need?
Since sleep is a natural analgesic, it reduces the amount of pain we feel. The amount of sleep one requires to reduce chronic or acute pain depends on a multitude of factors, such as the cause of pain and the age of an individual. For most adults, sleeping uninterrupted for 7 to 8 hours is likely to do the job. Other people need up to ten hours depending on their condition.
How can you sleep better?
There are several ways one can sleep better to improve their ability to manage pain. Physical activities, such as exercises that include cardiovascular activities, can improve the quality of your sleep significantly.
Taking naps at odd hours can disrupt the natural schedule of your sleep. If you sleep twice in the day and stay awake at night, only to wake up late in the morning, your sleep schedule gets disturbed and will have little to no effect on your pain levels. Additionally, you could limit your caffeine consumption and control your alcohol intake right before heading to bed.
Sometimes, even these activities can’t help one sleep soundly. If this sounds familiar then we think it’s time to consider physiotherapy or massage therapy. Both of these treatments are designed to relieve stress from the body and improve your blood circulation which will consequently lead to better sleep and lesser pain. If you’re located in Toronto, head to SEMI and avail their expert physiotherapy and massage therapy services today.