For patients who suffer from chronic pain and do not get good, stable rest, it is commonly believed that their physical discomfort interferes with sleep patterns. A new study published in November in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders suggests that the link between sleep disturbances and chronic pain is more complex. These findings add to a number of studies that suggest that poor sleep is linked to a range of health problems, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive problems, mood disorders, and even cancer. Therefore, it is important to make an appointment with a doctor and examination, a full treatment of pain and sleep disorders.
Insomnia and chronic pain
A recent study shows that a variety of sleep problems — including difficulty falling asleep and sleeping deeply, early awakening, lack of restorative sleep needed to rest the body, and fatigue — are important predictors of the future development of chronic pain. The researchers collected data from 1,249 Swedish people to analyze five-year results and 791 Swedes to evaluate results over 18 years of their lives. The study suggests that the link between fatigue and chronic body pain is due to the formation of pain points (points) and possibly dysregulation of pain systems, rather than mental health problems or sleep disorders. The study highlights the importance of properly assessing sleep if a patient already has chronic pain of any location. If a person does not sleep well, he perceives pain more acutely, analgesics and other methods of treatment work worse.
The problem of a good night’s rest and perception of pain
There are tens of thousands of regulators in the body that determine pain and its strength, duration and intensity. Our bodies can filter experiences and sensations, including pain. If, for example, a bone in a leg is broken, but a fire alarm occurs, a person will find a way to get out of a burning building by temporarily suppressing pain signals. The body filters every signal that enters the brain, whether it is a signal of pain or a signal of pleasure. Getting a good night’s sleep and quality rest for the body improves filter performance. A new study highlights how poor sleep is associated with fatigue and more severe chronic pain. Patients suffering from chronic pain should be examined by a doctor and identify sleep disorders, normalize their nightly rest in order to improve the effectiveness of pain management.
Causes of sleep disorders: pathologies, diseases, disorders
Poor sleep can be caused by a number of disorders, including:
Somatic diseases (cardiac, respiratory, digestive).
The development of sleep apnea, which occurs when the upper airways are repeatedly blocked during sleep.
Insomnia, in which people have trouble falling asleep, often waking up without returning to normal sleep, causing symptoms such as fatigue, mood problems, and drowsiness.
Restless legs syndrome, a sleep disorder that causes a strong, often overwhelming urge to move the legs during rest, such as while lying in bed.
Good sleep is crucial for overall health, prevention of serious diseases, including cardiovascular disease. For the prevention of diseases and good rest, it is important to observe the regimen and hygiene of sleep. To begin with, you need to refrain from viewing any bright screens, at least an hour before bedtime. This means that the patient must stop watching TV and using their cell phone or computer at least 60 minutes before going to bed. These devices create a glow that activates the brain rather than calming it down so the person can fall asleep. Also, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and try to exercise at least six days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. It is also important to reduce the consumption of excessively salty foods, which can cause thirst, increase blood pressure, which provokes vascular disease and heart overload with the kidneys. Limiting or avoiding alcoholic beverages is also beneficial. Drinking alcohol can help you fall asleep, but it can make it harder to achieve deep, restorative sleep.
Doctor appointment and examination
If sleep problems have become persistent, an appointment with a neurologist or general practitioner is important. Your healthcare provider can help you identify sleep problems, suggest medications, or suggest cognitive therapy. If these strategies don’t work, your doctor may recommend making an appointment with your doctor at a sleep center to rule out sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. At the Sleep Center, physicians who study and treat complex sleep disorders can provide accurate diagnosis and treatment strategies.
An appointment with a doctor of a specialized center is needed in order to accurately study all kinds of health problems that make it impossible to sleep and rest normally during the night. For example, if the problem is related to the airways, treatment may involve wearing a mask that channels air. In some cases, surgery may be required to open the upper airways. During the examination, while various tests and analyzes are being carried out, the doctor may ask the patient to keep a sleep journal, noting any problems that occur during the night or when falling asleep.
How to help with sleep disorders?
Many people in our country are deprived of quality sleep. Studies show that about a third of the population of the country suffer from insomnia at some time in their lives. What’s more, 10% of the population has chronic insomnia that lasts three months or longer. Research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia provides better long-term results than other treatments, even medications. Habit control techniques include creating positive bed-to-good-sleep associations and eliminating bad habits such as using electronic devices before bed.
It is also necessary to limit daytime sleep so that the patient is tired by night, walks, fresh air and physical activity as pre-sleep rituals. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also includes tips to help you sleep better, ways to calm down an hour or two before bedtime, making the room quiet and cool, and removing all irritants from it. If these treatments don’t work, your doctor may prescribe medication.