More Sleep, Less Pain?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Being sleepy during the day can be miserable; it can make you irritable, less focused, and more sensitive to pain? As a new study discovered, getting more sleep each night can actually make people less sensitive to pain during their waking hours.
Researchers randomly assigned 18 healthy and pain-free study volunteers to either four nights of their typical sleep time or four nights of ten hours in bed per night. The participants’ daytime sleepiness was then measured using the multiple sleep latency test, and their pain sensitivity was measured by seeing how long they were able to leave their finger on a radiant heat source.
Those participants who were assigned four nights of ten hours in bed had 1.8 more hours of sleep than they usually do. The extended sleep group also demonstrated less daytime sleepiness and was able to leave their fingers on the radiant heat source for 25% more time than those who had only received their habitual amount of sleep.
"Our results suggest the importance of adequate sleep in various chronic pain conditions or in preparation for elective surgical procedures," lead author of the study Timothy Roehrs, Ph.D., was quoted as saying.
Study researchers believe the increased pain sensitivity in chronically sleep-deprived people could be a result of their increased sleepiness.
An even more surprising discovery from the study was that the increase in the time the participants were able to leave their finger on the radiant heat source was greater than that found in another study using 60mg of codeine. These results suggest that getting more sleep each night could decrease pain sensitivity more so than the common painkiller codeine. So if you find yourself aching and flinching away from things that should not be so painful, a good nights’ sleep may be the cure.
SOURCE: SLEEP December, 2012
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