After receiving an email on how pain keeps you awake, I thought I would write a post on it as I am suffering greatly with this at the moment. Apparently I am not alone as according to the National Sleep Foundation, two out of three people with chronic pain have trouble sleeping.
They says that joint and muscle pain usually results in problems staying asleep (called sleep maintenance insomnia) rather than falling asleep (called sleep onset insomnia).
Lack of sleep makes you more sensitive to pain and a study in the April 2009 issue of Sleep Journal showed that normal, healthy individuals are more sensitive to pain when they are low on rest. The reasons why arent known for sure. Some research studies show that sleep deprivation causes increased production of inflammatory chemicals in the body called cytokine.
The other problem is that some medications prescribed for pain such as codeine, which is what I have just been put on, can cause insomnia. Other opioid drugs like morphine and tramadol (which I was on before) can actually cause sleep apnea (brief pauses in breathing, during sleep). So, after taking these kinds of medications for chronic pain you are at a high risk of sleep problems.
Of course the other problem with having chronic pain is that we have trouble doing any exercise which then leads to weight gain, and everything becomes a vicious cycle. Once you have your pain in control then it should reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep and make life more bearable.