Chronic Pain? Blame it on poor sleep, says study

People who spend less time sleeping are prone to chronic pain and it leads to adverse impact on their physical health, says a study.

People who sleep less are prone to suffer from chronic pain that leads to poor physical health, said study from the University of Warwick in UK. Both sleep and pain are the two major health issues in today's world.

People with poor sleeping pattern face the risk of improper response to bacteria, virus and other foreign body substances.

Researchers have found that it could result in higher level of stress hormone, Cortisol, a steroid hormone used as a medication. Sleeplessness also causes bio-makers to send the symptoms of pain, fatigue and poor health.

"Sleep and pain problems are two of the biggest health problems in today's society," said lead author, Esther Afolalu of the University of Warwick. "Pain is known to interfere with sleep, and the new study shows that the impact of sleep on pain is often bigger than the impact of pain on sleep."

Afolalu's team analysed 16 studies of about 60,000 adults from 10 countries for over four years. The studies provided insights into the patterns of how well people sleep at the start and how effective the long-term sleep is on pain, immune system and the overall physical health of an individual.

The researchers have not yet found exact links between proper sleep and less pain, though they are aware of the fact that improvement in sleeping hours brings forth better physical health.

"It is important to identity whether there is a specific sleep pattern that's most dangerous for pain," said Monika Haack, another researcher involved in the study. Additional studies should focus on how sleep deficiency leads to chronic pain disorders, she said.

The findings have been published in the journal Sleep Medicine.

Another research carried out earlier by Warwick Medical School had shown that there is a link between sleep deprivation and the number of health problems people face. Based on evaluation of doctors' and truck drivers' working hours, they found that both sleep disturbances of quantity (short and long sleep) and quality (disrupted sleep) have negative impact on people's health.

Their table of sleeplessness and its impact on triggering diseases shows that:

28% increase in risk of type-2 diabetes
48% increase in risk of CHD
15% increase in risk of stroke
12% increase in general mortality risk.

The research by University of Worwick has always played a crucial part in gaining information about the impact of sleep deprivation and the health changes it triggers.