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Can a lack of sleep lead to a lower pain threshold?

Can a lack of sleep lead to a lower pain threshold?

Whether you suffer from a medical condition such as insomnia, or whether the neighbour's dog wakes you up in the middle of the night with his big, loud bark, sleep loss is no fun for anybody.

Not only will you feel sluggishly tired throughout the day, you'll become irritable and have trouble concentrating on your day-to-day tasks - you may even suffer from memory lapses. Now, there's one more negative aspect to add to the list: your tolerance to pain will be lowered.

Not only will insomnia make you feel sluggishly tired throughout the day, you'll become irritable and have trouble concentrating on your day-to-day tasks - you may even suffer from memory lapses.

Cool Hand Luke

The broad ranging study, published by the International Association for the Study of Pain, surveyed over 10,400 adults, each of them subjected to a medically-recognised pain test, known as the 'cold pressor.'

This involves submerging the hand in a freezing cold water container for as long as possible.

Each of the participants were quizzed about their sleeping habits, such as how long they actually slept each night, to how long it took them to nod off each evening.

Additionally, the researchers also took into consideration other circumstances that could negatively affect quality of sleep and pain tolerance, including chronic, uncomfortable illnesses and psychological issues, including depression and anxiety.

The results of the cold pressor experiment were astounding. It was found that 32 per cent of those studied managed to keep their hand submerged throughout the entirety of the 106-second test. 

Not only can insomnia make us depressed and irritable, a new study has found that it can lower tolerance to pain.Not only can insomnia make us depressed and irritable, a new study has found that it can lower tolerance to pain.

However, those battling insomnia were far more likely to pull out beforehand - a whopping 42 per cent did so. Only 31 per cent of people who didn't suffer from insomnia removed their hand early.

What's more, it was notable that pain sensitivity was heightened in accordance to the severity of the insomnia.

Compared to those that did not report any insomnia, those that endured weekly bouts of the condition were found to have a 52 per cent higher level of reduced pain tolerance, compared to just 24 per cent that suffered just once a month.

Through pain of sleep

It was also found that there is an intrinsic link between insomnia and ongoing, chronic pain.

Those that reported that they suffer from both of these ailments were more than twice as likely to  have a lower pain threshold.

"There is clearly a strong relationship between pain and sleep, such that insomnia increases both the likelihood and severity of clinical pain," concluded Dr. Borge Sivertsen, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, who carried out the study.

Therefore, those that suffer from both insomnia and chronic pain should seek treatment that targets both conditions, in an effort to kill two birds with one proverbial stone.

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Can a lack of sleep lead to a lower pain threshold?

Whether you suffer from a medical condition such as insomnia, or whether the neighbour's dog wakes you up in the middle of the night with his big, loud bark, sleep loss is no fun for anybody.

Not only will you feel sluggishly tired throughout the day, you'll become irritable and have trouble concentrating on your day-to-day tasks - you may even suffer from memory lapses. Now, there's one more negative aspect to add to the list: your tolerance to pain will be lowered.

Not only will insomnia make you feel sluggishly tired throughout the day, you'll become irritable and have trouble concentrating on your day-to-day tasks - you may even suffer from memory lapses.

Cool Hand Luke

The broad ranging study, published by the International Association for the Study of Pain, surveyed over 10,400 adults, each of them subjected to a medically-recognised pain test, known as the 'cold pressor.'

This involves submerging the hand in a freezing cold water container for as long as possible.

Each of the participants were quizzed about their sleeping habits, such as how long they actually slept each night, to how long it took them to nod off each evening.

Additionally, the researchers also took into consideration other circumstances that could negatively affect quality of sleep and pain tolerance, including chronic, uncomfortable illnesses and psychological issues, including depression and anxiety.

The results of the cold pressor experiment were astounding. It was found that 32 per cent of those studied managed to keep their hand submerged throughout the entirety of the 106-second test. 

Not only can insomnia make us depressed and irritable, a new study has found that it can lower tolerance to pain.Not only can insomnia make us depressed and irritable, a new study has found that it can lower tolerance to pain.

However, those battling insomnia were far more likely to pull out beforehand - a whopping 42 per cent did so. Only 31 per cent of people who didn't suffer from insomnia removed their hand early.

What's more, it was notable that pain sensitivity was heightened in accordance to the severity of the insomnia.

Compared to those that did not report any insomnia, those that endured weekly bouts of the condition were found to have a 52 per cent higher level of reduced pain tolerance, compared to just 24 per cent that suffered just once a month.

Through pain of sleep

It was also found that there is an intrinsic link between insomnia and ongoing, chronic pain.

Those that reported that they suffer from both of these ailments were more than twice as likely to  have a lower pain threshold.

"There is clearly a strong relationship between pain and sleep, such that insomnia increases both the likelihood and severity of clinical pain," concluded Dr. Borge Sivertsen, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, who carried out the study.

Therefore, those that suffer from both insomnia and chronic pain should seek treatment that targets both conditions, in an effort to kill two birds with one proverbial stone.

Can a lack of sleep lead to a lower pain threshold?
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