As discussed time and time again in this blog, chronic pain and lack of sleep often go together. Pain reduces your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, and the resulting fatigue often leads to more intense and long-lasting pain. It is a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.
An article on CNN Health also discussed this phenomenon. According to the article, "Patients with any pain syndrome often come in complaining of fatigue or tiredness. Their bodies have trouble falling and staying asleep. Sleep and pain are both ultimately controlled by the central nervous system. Poor sleep and pain form a vicious cycle - uncontrolled pain makes sleep difficult (if not impossible) and, in turn, the resulting poor sleep makes it more difficult to adequately control the pain." Additionally, chronic pain sufferers spend more time in the light stages of sleep and therefore do not reach the deeper, more refreshing stages of REM sleep. They also tend to have abnormal EEGs during sleep, called "alpha intrusion". Although the cause of this is unknown, it is often linked to disorders that involve sleep and/or chronic pain.
Chronic pain is a serious and life-altering diagnosis. If you have been having trouble sleeping and have also had consistent pain lasting over six months, it might be time to consult with a doctor. If this pain was caused by an accident due to the fault of another, it may also be time to consult with an attorney. If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.