Could Restless Sleep Cause Pain Later in Life?
Could Restless Sleep Cause Pain Later in Life?
Restless sleep is something that will likely affect every person around the world in one way or another. It is something that is brought on by pain, stress or simply lifestyle choices like alcohol and tobacco consumption. When you wake up in the morning after a night like this, you don’t feel rested, rather you feel tired, annoyed and in many cases, aggravated at your lack of good sleep. It turns out now that a night of restless sleep can cause harm for more than just a single day as there are new studies suggest that restless sleep, or “non-restorative sleep” is the largest factor in the development of pain throughout the body of older adults.
When you have widespread pain throughout your body, this is the main component of fibromyalgia, which is something that will affect 15 percent of women and 10 percent of men over the age of 50. Researchers in the United Kingdom decided to look at possible causes of widespread pain and came up with the concept for this new study.
The British researches compiled demographics on more than 4,300 men and women above the age of 50. They also took note of pain – whether physical or mental – of these adults. At the beginning of the study, more than 2,700 had reported some pain, but none admitted to widespread pain throughout the body.
The study first appeared in the Feb. 13 edition of Arthritis & Rheumatology and announced that restless sleep
was one of the factors believed to be the cause of the development of this type of pain. Other factors that were noted as causes for this pain include anxiety, overall poor health and memory problems.
Three years after the researchers began their study, the number of patients included that reported widespread pain went from none to 19 percent, or roughly 900 men and women.
The widespread pain in the body of those who previously reported some pain were worse than those that reported no pain at the start of the study. Of those who reported some pain at the start of the study, 25 percent reported widespread pain three years later. Just eight percent of those who didn’t report any pain at the beginning of the study reported widespread pain three years later.
Dr. John McBeth, the leader of the study from the arthritis research center located at Keele University in Staffordshire, England, said that osteoarthritis has also been linked to the onset of widespread pain, “our findings also found that poor sleep, [memory], and physical and psychological health may increase pain risk.”
McBeth went on to say in the study that “combined interventions” that would be used to treat widespread pain and specific pains would be needed in older adults to help reduce the amount of pain.
As men and women get older, they are prone to more ailments and conditions that bring on severe and minor pain. That being said, increased age has not been linked to the development of widespread pain. For older men and women, you would be more likely to experience muscle, bone and nerve pain than developing widespread pain. According to a press release put out by the study organizers, the percentage of men and women above the age of 65 that are likely to feel some sort of pain on a daily basis is 80 percent.
The study found that restless sleep is a cause of widespread pain in older adults, but there was no distinctive and direct relationship between the two.
Ways to Prevent Restless Sleep
There are many things you can do attempt and improve your sleeping quality. When it comes to feeling restless, it can occur at different times of day for each person.
- Restless at Night
If you are a person that is restless at night, there are a few things you can do to feel better. One thing would be to exercise more during the day. The extra workout during the day has been known to make that restless feeling go away. Another thing you can do would be to eat more fruit and vegetables during the day. These healthy food items have been found to rid your body of that feeling.
- Restless in the Morning
If you are someone that feels more restless in the morning, then one thing you can do might be hard to fathom.
Get up earlier than you normally would and work out in the morning. By getting a workout in earlier, you are helping to get your body prepared for the day.
- Eat Right
Regardless of when you feel more restless, it is vital that you eat the right foods. As we covered earlier, I you feel restless at night, you should eat more fruits and vegetables. This is the case for those who feel restless in the morning, but not to the same extent. If you eat sugary items like chocolate, you will likely feel more restless throughout the day. The same can be said of sugary specialty coffee drinks often purchased in the afternoon to give you a jolt.
About the Author
Hobson Lopes is a 2012 graduate of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn. He is a professional writer who will be releasing a cookbook in January 2014 called Men Cook Too. He is also the owner of The First Pitch and can be followed on Twitter.