Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chronic Pain and Sleep Deprivation

As you can imagine, chronic pain has a hugely negative affect on the amount and quality of sleep.  Many Americans suffer from chronic pain, and a large number of them also report secondary complains of chronic sleep loss and decreased quality of sleep.  For many chronic pain sufferers, it is extremely difficult to find a method of pain relief that will allow a good amount of sleep without waking up several times during the night.

As more and more patients are reporting instances of sleep loss, The National Sleep Foundation compiled data relating to this important issue.  According to their statistics:

-15% of adult Americans report experiencing chronic pain, but 50% of older adults report the same problem
-Among those reported experiencing chronic pain, 2/3 also report trouble sleeping (characterized as poor or unrefreshing sleep)
-The longer a chronic pain patient goes without a good night's sleep, the worse their corresponding pain seems to become
-Some common causes of trouble sleeping include: caffeine and/or alcohol consumption, vigorous exercise in the afternoon or evening, taking prolonged naps (more than 10-20 minutes long)
-Some common treatments include light exercise in the afternoon and relaxation techniques.  Prescription drugs and sleeping pills may also be used under the direction of a trained physician.

Sleep deprivation as it coincides with chronic pain will exacerbate an already debilitating condition. It is very important to monitor your sleeping patterns and consult with a knowledgeable physician if you suspect that you may have a case of  sleep deprivation with chronic pain.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA and serves the central and western Pennsylvania area.  For more information on him and his firm, please click here.

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