Pain and sleep are closely linked, and each impacts the other. A 2019 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that a lack of sleep interferes with pain centers in the brain, lowering your pain threshold and making you more sensitive to pain.
Brain imaging studies using MRI show that there is greater activation of brain regions controlling perception of pain after a poor night’s sleep. Because better sleep or more sleep may lessen the pain you are experiencing, try the following techniques to improve your sleep:
- Stay on a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, wake the next day at the same time and remain awake until your planned sleep time.
- Get exercise during the day and practice relaxation techniques before bedtime
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
- Create a peaceful sleeping space free of distractions such as television and cell phones
If you are experiencing a problem with sleep, talk to your PainCare provider.