How does pain affect sleep?
Pain is a serious intrusion to sleep. Pain is frequently associated with insomnia and these coexisting problems can be difficult to treat. The Journal of Pain, sleep complaints are present in 67%-88% of chronic pain disorders. And among those with insomnia, more than 50% suffer from chronic pain.
In the state of a deep sleep, as a rule, the sensation of pain is the less. Because sleep is a state of deafferentation: the interruption or destruction of the afferent connections of nerve cells and, as such, tends to decrease the perception of pain.
The findings of the study about relations of sleep and attention to pain suggest that the pain-sleep relationship is bidirectional. It means that the experience of pain while awake can cause insomnia and, contrariwise, poor-quality sleep can intensify pain. This study also suggests that “attention to pain” is a function of sleep quality. Poor sleep generally results in increased somatic attention. This seems consistent with the notion that patients with chronic pain find themselves in a vicious circle of increasing pain and sleeplessness, one amplifying the other.