Interesting read today on this week:


National Sleep Foundation: Pain is affecting our sleep

Poll suggests 57% of Americans have pain-related problems

WASHINGTON — A new poll by the National Sleep Foundation reveals that pain robs Americans of sleep they say they need.

The group’s 2015 Sleep in America Poll found an average 42-minute sleep debt for those with chronic pain and a 14-minute debt for those who’ve suffered from acute pain in the past week.

By contrast, the NSF said, there’s no overall sleep debt for those without pain, but significant numbers even in that group do have sleep problems. About one in three of those with no pain don’t always or often get a good night’s sleep or the sleep they need to feel their best, or have had trouble falling or staying asleep in the past week. Those problems are worse among individuals who have pain, the group said.

The 2015 Sleep in America Poll reports that pain joins two related concerns — stress and poor health — as key correlates of shorter sleep durations and worse sleep quality. But there are paths to resolving the problem: The sleep gap narrows sharply among those who make sleep a priority, the NSF said.

“Taking control of your sleep by being motivated, setting a routine bedtime and creating a supportive sleep environment are relevant even for those with pain,” said David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “Sleep is a key marker of health, and good sleep habits are critical for improving the quality of life of those living with chronic or acute pain.”

The national, random-sample survey establishes the broad impact of pain-related sleep loss. The study reports that 21% of Americans experience chronic pain and 36% have had acute pain in the past week. Those findings combine to account for a majority of the nation’s adult population, 57%, leaving 43% who report being pain free, the NSF said.

Beyond sleep debt, self-reported sleep quality and stress levels underscore the effects of pain on sleep.

Sixty-five percent of those with no pain reported good or very good sleep quality, while only 45% of those with acute pain and 37% of those with chronic pain did the same. Additionally, 23% of those with chronic pain reported higher stress levels, compared with 7% of those without pain.

Those with acute or chronic pain are more likely to have sleep problems affect their daily lives. Among people who’ve had sleep difficulties in the past week, more than five in 10 of those with chronic pain say those difficulties interfered with their work. That drops to 23% of those without pain. People with pain are also far more apt than others to report that lack of sleep interferes with their mood, activities, relationships and enjoyment of life overall, the NSF said.