We all spend more than a third of our lives sleeping, but until recently scientists knew surprisingly little about the role that sleep plays in health. In the last few decades sleep research has been a hot topic in medicine, and it has revealed how important a good night’s sleep is to our physical and mental well-being.
There are many studies that show how a lack of sleep can play a role in chronic diseases and health conditions, and now local chiropractors are even seeing a relationship between poor sleep and pain.
A study by Esther Afolalu of the University of Warwick in Coventry, the UK, has found that poor sleepers have higher rates of chronic pain. The study, which tracked more than 60,000 adults in ten countries for four or more years, found that insufficient or poor quality sleep resulted in an increase in back and neck pain, fatigue, and poor health. When patients developed insomnia, they had double the risk of chronic pain disorders. The study’s conclusion was that sleep problems had a negative effect on a patient’s ability to process and handle pain.
Another study, by Dr. Monika Haack of Harvard, found that people who think they can make up for lost sleep by snoozing longer on the weekends are fooling themselves. Haack found that people who tried to catch up on weekends actually had more problems dealing with pain than those who got eight hours every night.
There’s no substitute for a good night’s sleep!