Does Sleep Help Reduce Pain

Sleep Deprivation Kills!
Sleep Deprivation Kills! | Source

Sleep, Sleeping, and More Sleep!

Sleep is the Foundation of Pain Relief

My body hurts. It is a simple fact that as I have aged this mixture of bones, muscles, nerves and fluids has found each day more difficult to greet with vigor and enthusiasm. After spinal surgery a few years ago I thought that was it; no more fun, no more romping, no more agility and no more pain free days. Then, I started to question why? "Is pain the absolute co-pilot of aging?" Well, after years of searching for something that would help to reduce pain naturally, I missed the one thing that I needed most, sleep. That's right, sleep is the one essential life component that is required for much of the population's pain relief! Allow me to share with you what I have learned about the "sleep and pain connection".

About Your Sleep

Do you suffer from a lack of sleep?

  • Yes. I haven't slept a full night in years.
  • Nope. I'm dozing off right now...zzzzzzzzzzzz.....
  • Sometimes. If I'm worried or anxious about something I find it difficult to get enough sleep.
See results without voting

How Much Sleep Do I Need to Stay Pain Free?

Over the years I encountered many responses to the number of hours one requires to get a good nights sleep. Some of these have been as little as 5 hours per night and some as many as 12 hours per night. But, once the extremes are out of the away, and the reality of just how the human body responds to sleep is considered, the number becomes something a little more realistic. To eliminate muscle and several other sources of pain, it is critical to get eight to nine hours of SOLID sleep; the good stuff, that deep REM, dream developed sleep. Nothing less will get the job done.

Why Don't We Just Get More Sleep?

As Society Evolved, Healthy Sleep Habits Devolved

People with sleep disorders, in my opinion, encounter major difficulties when it comes to body pain relief. Not getting enough sleep can happen for one significant reason; Americans don't make enough time for adequate sleeping. In comparison, on average, a hundred years ago, Americans were getting in around nine hours of sleep per night. And, according to Anthropologists, five thousand years ago we were getting an average nights sleep in the eleven and twelve hour range. When the sun went down it was too dark and dangerous to go outside, so people went to bed. When the sun popped up, people woke up. Later, when we began using candles when it got dark, the night became shorter due to the illumination factor; then light bulbs came into play; then TV; and finally computers. All individually taking their toll on our sleep time to such a degree, that today, five hours sounds pretty damn good! Believe me, five hours of sleep per night is not good. It's not even close to good.

Sleep Brain Waves Simulation (click to see full size)

An EEG simulation of the stages of Brain Waves during sleep
An EEG simulation of the stages of Brain Waves during sleep | Source

What Are the Stages of Sleep For Pain Relief?

Sleep Has 5 Distinct Stages

  • Stage 1: Very light in and out sleep
  • Stage 2: Fairly light sleep
  • Stage 3 (delta sleep): Deeper sleep some delta wave brain activity
  • Stage 4 (delta sleep): Deeper sleep almost all delta wave activity
  • Stage 5 (REM) : Rapid Eye Movement Sleep

Defining The 5 stages of sleep:

Stage 1). Very light stage of sleep. Drifting in and out of sleep, slow eye movement, muscles slow while sometimes experiencing muscles contractions and a sense of falling. Easily awakened during this cycle.

Stage 2). Eyes stop moving, brain waves slow, an occasional flash of rapid brain waves.

Stage 3). Very, very slow brain waves (delta waves) are intermingled with faster smaller waves. Difficult to wake a person.

Stage 4). Slow wave sleep technically consists of stage 3 and 4. In stage 3, the delta waves make up less than 50% of the total wave pattern, while stage 4 measures more than 50% of the pattern as being delta wave pattern.

Stage 5). This stage is most commonly referred to as REM sleep.

What is Delta (slow wave) sleep?

The delta wave, or slow wave state of sleep, is noted as being difficult to awakened from. It is recognized by the presence of slower brain waves called delta activity during an EEG test. It is a type of NREM sleep and is called stage three and four—and most commonly stage five— within sleep studies.

The chart below teaches the stages of sleep and what each consists of "in at a quick glance."

Stages of Sleep at a Glance

(click column header to sort results)
STAGE OF SLEEP  
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BODY  
Stage 1
Very light stage of sleep. Drifting in and out of sleep, slow eye movement, muscles slow while sometimes experiencing muscles contractions and a sense of falling. Easily awakened during this cycle.
Stage 2
Eyes stop moving, brain waves slow, an occasional flash of rapid brain waves.
Stage 3
Very, very slow brain waves (delta waves) are intermingled with faster smaller waves. Difficult to wake a person.
Stage 4
Only slow delta waves are produced. No eye or muscle movement. Night terrors, sleepwalking, and bed wetting occur during this stage. (in 2008 USA sleep experts combined stage 3 and 4 into one, making them both actually stage 3).
Stage 5 (REM)
Eyes jerk wildly, rapid and irregular breathing, and muscles become temporarily paralyzed. Brain waves increase to that of wave lengths when awake, rapid heart rate and respiration, increased blood pressure, males can become erect, body temperature can become unregulated. This is where dreams take place.
Sleep helps heal all things!
Sleep helps heal all things! | Source

A Little About Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Some clinicians speculate that those who suffer from Fibromyalgia are likely deficient in stage 3 and 4 sleep. These stages are also known as delta wave sleep, and they are required for the production of human growth hormone, which is essential in repair and healing body tissues. Some sleeping medications keep a person in stage two sleep, which obviously prevents this healing process from being achieved all together. The good news is that you have choices in which sleep aides you use. Some great Natural sleep aides are available to help get you to, and then keep you in stage 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle. Here are a few to choose from:

4 Natural Sleep Aides

  1. Hydroxy L-tryptophan (5-HTP): Helps the body to make serotonin
  2. Revitalizing Sleep Formula: A mixture of natural sleep herbs
  3. Calcium and Magnesium: Help to calm the body and promote bone health
  4. Melatonin; A natural hormone for sleep

Combining soothing (Delta Wave Sleep inducing) CDs with natural sleep aides can bring on, and keep you in a deep stage 3 sleep state for longer periods of time, making healing possible.

A Clean Body Promotes Deep Sleep

What Does it Mean to Sleep Clean?

  • No alcohol close to bedtime
  • No caffeine after 4:00 P.M.
  • Your bed is NOT for working, studying, arguing, or reviewing problems
  • Take a hot bath before bed
  • Keep your bedroom cool
  • If your partner snores, get wax earplugs (or sleep in another room)
  • Don't look at the clock, as this will intensify sleep frustrations
  • Have a light snack prior to bedtime. (Low fat and high in amino acid tryptophan foods—such as turkey or milk—can help with sleeping.)

More by this Author


Comments for "Pain And Sleep" 29 comments

sleepguru 3 years ago

Wow, you have shared a lot about sleep, you surely is a resourceful writer and I find this hub very informative. I will definitely be visiting here often, thanks for sharing this info!


mandymoreno81 profile image

mandymoreno81 4 years ago

Getting a good amount of sleep will help ease off a bit of pain in your body. It's hard to sleep with a lot of thoughts going through your mind and information bombarding you to keep you awake. I have trouble sleeping sometimes so what I do is listen to soft music with the lights off about an hour before I want to go to sleep. If my sleep schedule is off, I try to stay up to fix it again and sleep around the time I want to. Having a good comfortable mattress and pillow will go a long way too help you too.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

This is a useful hub, as I don’t think many people realise the link between disturbed sleep and pain - I discovered this when my children were little and sleep became a luxury! I am sorry to hear you have Fibromyalgia and wish you well in becoming pain free.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Lela Bryan~ Thanks! It is always nice to hear that a hub is well received. I sure appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts on the subject of sleep.

Cheers~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Simone~ You have a very good point. Every thing in life seems a bit dimmer or more difficult when we neglect to get enough deep wave sleep. Finding the time for this does present a problem, especially for those brave people who commute to and from work or who are raising children. Balance is never an easy task!

Thrilled to find you and your hair bow in the house!

HubHugs~

K9


Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA

I like the way you have described the stages of sleep. Very well done hub.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

REALLY great Hub! And sleep doesn't just stave off physical pain- I find that EVERYTHING is more painful- mentally, emotionally, etc.- when I lack sleep. Now we just need to figure out how to find time for it all!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

dayzeebee~ So glad you found the hub helpful. I really appreciate you sharing your comments. Here's to getting a good night sleep!

Cheers~

K9


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Amazing informative hub! Thank you. I am now more aware of what I should do to get a good rest after production work. Voting up and sharing. Blessings:)


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Flora~ Being an insomniac must be a miserable thing, I have difficulty with sleep quite often, but I'm not sure I qualify as an insomniac. I hope you find a segment of peace within your busy mind and schedule to give your body a chance to keep itself healthy. Best wishes with your rehearsals! Thank you for sharing your comments.

HubHugs~

K9


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Insomniacs like I am always have difficulty falling asleep, no matter how you slept the night before or whether or not you are upset. I have a hard time turning off the internal thought process unless I am exhausted. and that means over-tiredness. Over-tiredness does not bring sleep quickly either. I have been taking lots of naps during my rehearsal schedule so that I do not become ill.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

fpherj4~ Having a good mattress doesn't hurt one bit. I always take the approach that if something helps to improve sleep or health, it is worth the money to acquire it. I am glad you find the information on sleep helpful, it makes it all worth while! Thanks for the support!

Cheers~

K9


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

K9...Excellent, informative and interesting hub on SLEEP. You have enlightened me and I thank you. I have no issues with getting enough sleep but I do wake up with reminders of the aging process. Have seriously considered a therapuetic mattress. Voted up, useful & interesting.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Lady_E~ What a great idea... next time I have a headache, it will be nap time as well! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for making it by. You have been in my thoughts lately as I will be making a run at reading hubs today, and yours are on the my list! It is really nice to find you here today.

HubHugs~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

cherylone~ I was oblivious to how important sleep really is for the healing and pain reduction process for many years. It is some of the best information I ran upon for personal pain relief! I try to get as much sleep in one shot as I can now! Thanks for making it by for a sleepy read.

Cheers~

K9


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Thanks very true..... and informative.

Sometimes, when I have a bad headache - instead of taking tablets, I just sleep it off.

Great Hub.


cherylone profile image

cherylone 4 years ago from Connecticut

Very informative hub, I knew sleep was important but didn't realize it was that important. thanks for sharing.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Denise~ I just adore HubLove!I know what you mean about night shift schedules, they are very difficult to acclimate to. I read your hub on the subject and it rocks! You can find the link above in the suggested reading section. Thanks so much for the read, stay sharp!

Huge HubHugs Denise~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

ktrapp~ Thank you for writing down your thoughts here. I hope you find some of these sleep tips help give you that good delta wave sleep we all need for pain relief! I sure appreciate your votes and kind comments.

Cheers~

K9


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Wonderful facts here, K9. I'll link this one to my hub Insomnia I wrote a while back. Great job! Now, on midnight shift-all I want is SLEEP! Take care of yourself.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

This is such useful information, and seems as if it can truly transform one's life. I certainly know I don't get enough sleep and the sleep I get is of poor quality. I also am pretty sure that my inability to get a healthy amount of sleep is part of the reason I have put on some weight. I am definitely going to try to turn this around using a few of your suggestions. Thanks for the information.

~voted up and useful~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

How cool, a big smile for K9 because livelonger stopped by! What a wonderful experience to get sleep facts from William Dement himself! I am a bit jealous, I bet it was fascinating to say the least!

I find it a very difficult task to get my mind to stop when it is time to rest, and spinal pain attributes to the issue. If I am comfy cozy under a blanket but have cool air to breath and a cool room to sleep in, I can achieve much better success in getting complete restful REM sleep. So, your information is spot-on for me. I sure appreciate that you made it by and shared your comments!

(only 13 days until Chanukah!)

Shalom and Big HubHugs my Friend~

K9


livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco

A fascinating Hub! I took a class in sleep and dreams (taught by none other than the discoverer of REM sleep, William Dement), and this was a fantastic "refresher course!" I'm one of those people who finds it difficult to sleep; any little provocation will keep me up tossing and turning for hours. A solid 7 hours works great for me. A very good point about temperature; the body should be warm, but the head cool. That's what's worked best for me, provided I keep my head clear. ;)

Thank you and Shalom, my friend!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Happyboomernurse~ Nice to find you here today! You are absolutely correct, sleep is the most important thing for our bodies when it comes to healing and repairing tissues. Without it, we would be gone in a very short time. Thank you for the kind remarks, and sharing your thoughts.

HubHugs~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

brittanytodd~ I recently found the Sleep Clean idea in a book I read on pain, and among the many things suggested was a clean sleeping list. It worked wonders! Thanks so much for making it by and sharing your comments.

Cheers~

k9


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Great article about the importance of getting quality sleep with some excellent, well researched suggestions for doing so. Sleep is when our body rejuvenates and repairs itself.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Great hub! I love your tips for sleeping clean. These are such helpful suggestions and I think you wrote it beautifully. Thank you for posting. Voted up, useful, etc.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

techygran~ I am so glad that you found the hub worthy. Pain is no laughing matter and so often we get swept into the RX lifestyle without even taking a look at our other options. Getting enough sleep has made a fierce difference in my level of pain, so much so that, I am playing tennis again (of course it is on my Wii, but that counts!)

Thank you for leaving your remarks here, I surely appreciate your input!

Cheers~

k9


techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

Excellent hub! You have set this up beautifully and your writing is fine-- this is the sort of health-promoting article that people need to read before they go off shopping for pharmaceutical sleep aids. Thank you!

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