Poor sleep increases pain sensitivity

Can lead to lack of sleep to greater pain?

Pain can interfere with sleep strong and people long awake. But how it affects perceived pain, when people are sleeping, often bad? Neuronal disruptions in the brain have now been found in sleep deprivation. Such disturbances intensify and prolong the pain caused by injuries and diseases.

The scientists from the University of Berkeley found in their current study, that poor sleep affects suffered pain, and even reinforced, or the duration can be extended. The doctors published the results of their study in the English journal “the Journal of Neuroscience”.

Sleep and its impact on pain

The scientists have proved their hypothesis that sleep deprivation can increase the sensitivity to pain, which showed itself by an accelerated reaction in the so-called somatosensory cortex of the brain. Surprisingly, the impaired activity in the Nucleus Accumbens, a Region of the reward circuit of the brain. This Region increases in addition to other functions, but also the levels of dopamine in order to alleviate such pains. “Sleep disorders not only amplify the pain-sensing regions in the brain, but also block the natural Analgesiezentren“, Professor Matthew Walker from the University of Berkeley in a press release. If poor sleep increases the sensitivity to pain, must sleep to be much more into account in the treatment of patients, particularly in hospitals, calls for the expert.

Due to lack of sleep pain will be evaluated signals may be incorrect

Another important brain region, which was affected in the brains of sleeping people to be negative, was the Insula, which evaluates pain signals and give you a context, the body on the reaction to prepare. This is a critical neural System, which is a rating of the pain signals, and categorized, and it’s the body’s own natural pain killers allows you to relieve the pain, explain the scientists.

Changes of sleep had a big impact

The connection between sleep and pain test in common everyday scenarios, respondents to the researchers, the country is far more than 230 adults of all ages. The respondents were asked for their night-time sleeping hours as well as your daily pain for a few days. The results showed that even minor shifts in the sleep – and Weckmustern with changes in the pain sensitivity correlated.

First of all, the basic pain threshold of the subjects was determined

For their study, the physicians recruited 25 healthy young adults who did not suffer from sleep or pain disorders. Since different people have different thresholds of Pain, were recorded by the researchers initially, the basic pain threshold of all the study participants after a full night of sleep. This was increased under the left leg of the subjects, exposure to heat gradually, while the brain activity was recorded by a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner. The Participants rated the occurring pain due to the heat on a scale of one to ten, and reported, on average, about thermal discomfort at about 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius).

Too little sleep, increased sensitivity to pain

After the base sensitivity to pain in all Participants was determined after a long night’s sleep, were able to compare the experts, as the threshold changed, by repeating the procedure after a sleepless night, the patient once again. So, they found that the vast majority of people suffering from lack of sleep, already at about 107 degrees Fahrenheit pain felt. The entire group was at a lower heat uncomfortable, which shows that her own pain had increased sensitivity to insufficient sleep, say the authors. The brain evaluates the pain, so without adequate sleep otherwise. In the meantime, the imaging of the brain showed, after a sleepless night with significant increases in Activity in the somatosensory cortex and a deactivation in the Nucleus accumbens and insular cortex, which indicated functional disturbances in the nervous mechanisms that control the physiological reactions to painful stimuli, explain the doctors.

Sleep is a natural analgesic.

Sleep is sort of a natural analgesic, which can help relieve pain, says Professor Walker. “Our results suggest that patient care would be significantly improved and the hospital beds earlier were cleared, if the uninterrupted sleep is regarded as an integral part of the health management würde“, adds the expert. (as)