home
RSS
Why you can't sleep when you're in pain
January 17th, 2012
11:14 AM ET

Why you can't sleep when you're in pain

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs regularly on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

Patients often come to me with symptoms they describe as "fatigue" or "tiredness." The first task is to tease out exactly what they mean. To a sleep doctor, fatigue and tiredness usually mean the body needs or wants to rest, whereas "sleepiness" suggests that the mind wants to rest.

Patients with any pain syndrome often come in complaining of fatigue or tiredness. Their bodies have trouble falling and staying asleep. Sleep and pain are both ultimately controlled by the central nervous system. Poor sleep and pain form a vicious cycle - uncontrolled pain makes sleep difficult (if not impossible) and, in turn, the resulting poor sleep makes it more difficult to adequately control the pain.

Most physicians know very well that poorly controlled pain will cause difficulty sleeping. But they often don’t think about the patient having a separate sleep disorder that may be fueling the pain.

For this reason, it is important for people with chronic pain to first have a thorough sleep evaluation in order to determine if there is an underlying cause. If a patient has something like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, then the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders can make a huge impact on  sleep and, as a result, on his or her quality of life.

Unfortunately, many times people with chronic pain syndromes do not have sleep disorders that are easily diagnosed, but they do have sleep disruptions of unknown origin.

They also tend to spend a lot of time in the light stage of sleep and have a characteristic, but non-specific, finding on their EEG (electroencephalogram, which measures the brain's electrical activity) during the sleep study. This finding is called "alpha intrusion." The cause of this particular brain wave pattern is not known, but it has been associated with different disorders that lead to chronic fatigue or chronic pain. There are no specific treatments that are aimed at alpha intrusions - we just try to treat the underlying pain syndrome and any primary sleep disorder that patients have.

The question remains whether sleep disturbances can actually lead to fatigue or pain syndromes. In fact, recent research has shown that people who complain that their sleep is disturbed or not refreshing have three times the risk of developing fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is poorly understood, but there is a specific pattern of musculoskeletal pain with the involvement of common anatomic sites, or trigger points, that can be tested on physical exam.

The persistent myalgia, or muscle pain, and the fatigue are thought to result from a disturbance in the functions of the central nervous system. Since sleep is a function of the central nervous system, it makes sense that the CNS dysfunction might start with sleep and then affect pain receptors and pain perception. And it is often the case that the healing can’t really begin until the patient can get the right amount of good quality sleep.

The take-home message here is this: If you have chronic pain, for whatever reason, and feel tired or sleepy in the daytime, get a sleep evaluation. Pain doesn't explain everything.

Post by:
Filed under: Sleep

soundoff (666 Responses)
  1. tantric massages in london

    Thank you for your article.Really looking forward to read more.

    https://www.secrettantric.com/

    March 21, 2021 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Ernestine Gasparino

    Pharm line is going down

    https://www.tcsindustry.com

    April 23, 2021 at 03:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Shower Los Angeles

    https://reelgood.com/https://ocrv.info

    April 24, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. house for sale hayden lake

    https://reelgood.com/http://www.meganleary.com

    April 24, 2021 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Forklifts Orange County

    http://www.silvercrestmetals.com/outurl.php?url=https://wildwestlifttrucks.com/rancho-cucamonga-forklifts

    April 24, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. esurance near me

    Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://irwebcast.com/cgi-local/report/redirect.cgi?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-step-repair-near-me/

    April 25, 2021 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Sound System Riverside

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

    http://lilholes.com/out.php?https://indofun88.net/judi-online-bola88/

    April 25, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. nearest realtors

    https://www.rodeowest.com.br/Busca/Redir?url=https://meganleary.com

    April 27, 2021 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. mercedes metris cargo van

    https://local.google.es/url?q=j&source=web&rct=j&url=https3A2F2Focrvfleetservices.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    May 4, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. aika online private server source

    I absolutely love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own website and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Cheers!

    https://clients1.google.cg/url?sa=i&rct=j&url=https://aikareborn.com

    May 4, 2021 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Eyewear Near Me

    https://www.pcstore.com.tw/adm/act.htm?src=vipad_click&store_type=SUP_TOP&big_exh=STOREAD-A7E9A6A9A9u&reurl=http3A2F2Fsunglasseseyedoctorsoptometristphoenixaz.com

    May 4, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. airstream atlas

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this site. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉

    https://cse.google.mw/url?q=j&source=web&rct=j&url=https://boxtruckrepairshop.com

    May 4, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. aika online review

    http://www.pdxparking.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.aikareborn.com

    May 4, 2021 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. aika online

    https://emath.co.il/forums/redirect-to/?redirect=https://aikareborn.com

    May 4, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. dating coach

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

    https://cse.google.lt/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https3A2F2Fmastermindofmen.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    May 5, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Best Optometrist Near Me

    Great post. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well..

    http://mart.walcost.com/visit?url=https://sunglasseseyedoctorsoptometristphoenixaz.com

    May 5, 2021 at 06:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Paint Shop California

    https://clients1.google.co.vi/url?sa=i&rct=j&url=https://ocrvluxurycoaches.com

    May 5, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. weekender camper

    Good blog post. I certainly love this website. Stick with it!

    https://clients1.google.is/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https3A2F2Focrvfleetservices.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    May 5, 2021 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Glasses Near Me

    https://images.google.fr/url?rct=i&sa=t&url=https://eyedoctorphoenixaz.com

    May 5, 2021 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. mind coach

    I seriously love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my very own blog and would love to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Thank you!

    https://maps.google.com.sa/url?q=j&sa=t&url=https://mastermindformen.com

    May 6, 2021 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. volvo vnx

    bookmarked!!, I really like your website!

    https://www.te.ua/go.php?https://ocrvfleetservices.com

    May 6, 2021 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Optometry Near Me

    https://cse.google.co.th/url?sa=j&source=web&rct=j&url=https3A2F2Fbettersightovernight.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    May 6, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. mobile truck repair

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this info.

    http://www.globalprivateequity.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.fleetservicesocrv.com

    May 6, 2021 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Best Prescription Sunglasses

    I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    http://local.google.cv/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://sunglasseseyedoctorsoptometristphoenixaz.com

    May 6, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. bait shop near me

    https://www.boxingforum24.com/proxy.php?link=https://www.fleetautorepairshop.com

    May 6, 2021 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. fred meyer near me

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?

    http://www.easternsuburbsmums.com.au/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://www.ocrvpaintandservice.com

    May 6, 2021 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. rv restoration near me

    Hi there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this information to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    https://www.ultratop.be/showyoutube.asp?id=o6Uo8ZWSewA

    May 6, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Forklift Service Shop California

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes that will make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://krivoruky.ru/tv.php?c=UVAfKfhBrXE

    May 6, 2021 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Kegs And Barrels

    http://www.judystorey.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.craftbrewersofboise.com

    May 6, 2021 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. rv parks near me

    https://www.baumspage.com/cc/ccframe.php?path=https://www.ocrv.vip

    May 7, 2021 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. la palma motorhome

    bookmarked!!, I really like your website!

    https://youtube-video-download.info/video/igqcZq4Tixg

    May 7, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Forklift Tires

    Very good article! We will be linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the good writing.

    https://thewikihow.com/video_PgO6MrX7rSc

    May 7, 2021 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Hefeweizen Beer Near Me

    https://clients1.google.td/url?rct=i&sa=t&url=https://craftbrewersofboise.com

    May 7, 2021 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. frozen yogurt near me

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for providing this information.

    http://www.rzhuoshan.com/url.php?url=http://postfallshealth.com34zxVq8

    May 7, 2021 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Forklift Maintenance Los Angeles

    https://map.google.com.pe/url?q=j&source=web&rct=j&url=https://commercialforklifts.com

    May 7, 2021 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. rv windshield replacement near me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

    http://uk.youtuberepeater.com/watch?v=kBDt_tzSQrw

    May 7, 2021 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Content Marketing Job

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe that this web site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

    https://fiftycc-dot-yamm-track.appspot.com/Redirect?ukey=1G5CSsX42igoCrYlWXOZy1G-VY0Px6b3UL5im1OJ_vso-0&key=YAMMID-14756249&link=https://affordableranking.com

    May 7, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. collision repair riverside ca

    Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://1-866-sendarose.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    May 7, 2021 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Content Marketing Firm

    I used to be able to find good information from your articles.

    http://lilbuttrags.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Google Marketing Job

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thank you for providing these details.

    https://www.vivaforms.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Social Media Marketing Event

    http://vxn.texaspanhandle.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Seo Marketing Deal

    I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!

    http://www.keyb.ru/redirect.php?url=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv plumbing parts near me

    http://107se.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    May 8, 2021 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Social Media Marketing Companies Cypress

    Hi there, I do think your blog might be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful blog!

    https://www.worldyellowpages.com/Listing/AdvertRedirect.aspx?CoyID=kenwell&URL=https://www.affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Digital Marketing California

    https://www.sarvesamachar.com/click.php?url=https://affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Entertainment System Near Me

    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!

    https://rebrand.ly/kz083dg

    May 8, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Local Marketing Agencies

    Right here is the right website for anyone who really wants to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that has been discussed for decades. Wonderful stuff, just great!

    https://www.samaraenergo.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?goto=https://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Toilets Los Angeles

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you ought to publish more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don't talk about these subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

    https://iir.ai/wQaqKy4

    May 9, 2021 at 03:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Google Marketing Program

    https://henripoincarepapers.univ-lorraine.fr/bibliohp/frame.php?url=https://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Local Marketing Association

    https://moonlitexotics.eu/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to fred meyer near me


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.