Monday, 2 April 2007

Sleep less, feel more pain

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Having trouble sleeping? Feel like life is more painful than normal? New research shows the two might be related.

A recent study of 32 women discovered that those whose sleep was regularly disrupted had an altered perception of pain. Their bodies became less-capable of inhibiting pain signals, and they were more susceptible to "spontaneous" pain -- like aches, or cramps -- after having slept poorly.

But you night owls don't have to worry -- it's not the sleep loss that's the problem, just the interruptions. So new parents, doctors on call, and others who are forcibly awakened from sleep are most affected.

In fact, for chronic pain sufferers, researchers recommend restricting the amount of time that you're asleep as a possible treatment for insomnia. You may be tired, but you'll feel less pain after a few hours of uninterrupted sleep than you would after a night of tossing and turning.

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