Poor Sleep Predicts Widespread Pain

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014, 7:11 pm

Poor sleep is a predictor of widespread pain in older adults according to research from England. The study, published in the journal, Arthritis and Rheumatology, found that nonrestorative sleep was a riskier factor than anxiety or poor physical health when it came to patients over age 50 developing pain.

Pain in muscles, bones and nerves become more common as people age. Almost 80% of people age 65 or older experience daily pain. The pain disorder fibromyalgia affects 15% of women and 10% of men over age 50. There is a lot of chronic pain out there.

The study, led by Dr. John McBeth, looked for factors that increased the risk of developing widespread pain in people over 50. The team collected data on pain, physical health, psychological well-being, lifestyle and demographics from over 4,000 adults who were free of widespread pain at the start of the study. These participants were followed 3 years later and asked about the development of widespread pain.

Results showed that 20% reported new widespread pain symptoms. Analysis of lifestyle and health information led the researchers to find that sleep problems were a strong predictor of who would develop pain. Anxiety, physical health problems and cognition issues will also increase the risk of developing widespread pain.

Poor sleep can be caused by many factors, but a common reason for non-restorative sleep is a condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea causes the airway to collapse during sleep, causing the sleeper to stop breathing for extended periods. When oxygen levels in the body drop, the sleeper briefly wakens to begin breathing again. The sleep apnea patient will waken in the morning feeling exhausted but not remembering these episodes. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to heart attack, stroke and premature death.

If you snore, have experienced weight gain or if you have a large neck size, you may have sleep apnea. Treatment using an oral appliance is easy and comfortable – CPAP is not required for most cases. Find out more from your Toccoa,GA sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Joseph Wilbanks. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center today at 706-886-9439.

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