Sleep More Valuable Than Painkillers

Mon, Dec 03, 2012

Just two hours extra sleep per night can significantly reduce a person’s sensitivity to pain, according to a new study.

The findings, published in the journal ‘Sleep’, also revealed the effect was greater than was seen in a previous study where volunteers were given 60mg of codeine. 

Researchers studied 18 volunteers over four nights and found that those who slept for 10 hours were able to keep their finger on a heat source for 25 seconds longer than those who had eight hours or fewer.

The results, combined with data from previous research, suggest increased pain sensitivity in tired people is the result of their underlying sleepiness.

Dr Timothy Roehrs, of Henry Ford Hospital in the United States, said: "Our results suggest the importance of adequate sleep in various chronic pain conditions or in preparation for elective surgical procedures.

"We were surprised by the magnitude of the reduction in pain sensitivity, when compared to the reduction produced by taking codeine."

Researchers say this study suggests extended and good quality sleep reduces one's sensitivity to pain.  On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases an individual's sensitivity. 

Yet another good reason to give your sleep a high priority.

If you suffer from a sleep disorder or know someone who does, arrange a diagnostic sleep study (polysomnogram) to determine the nature and severity of the condition.  Call on 1300 246 637 or click below to talk with a friendly treatment coordinator.