Sleep may stop chronic pain sufferers from becoming zombies

March 27, 2014

Science Daily/University of Warwick

Chronic pain sufferers could be kept physically active by improving the quality of their sleep, new research suggests. The study found that sleep was a worthy target for treating chronic pain and not only as an answer to pain-related insomnia.

Considering the implications of the study Dr Tang said that "the prospect of promoting physical activity by regulating sleep may offer a novel solution to an old problem."

"The current study identified sleep quality, rather than pain and low mood, as a key driver of physical activity the next day. The finding challenges the conventional target of treatment being primarily focused on changing what patients do during the day. Sleep has a naturally recuperative power that is often overlooked in pain management. A greater treatment emphasis on sleep may help patients improve their daytime functioning and hence their quality of life" argued Dr Tang.

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