Life Balance: Sleep Better, Reduce Pain

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 2nd, 2014

Sleep habits may play a role in pain in older adults and are essential for proper life balance. In a recent study they were asked to evaluate their pain levels and report on lifestyle factors like anxiety symptoms and health-related quality of life. Three years later, researchers followed up with the participants to see if anyone had developed widespread pain, which affects multiple areas of the body. They found that older adults who did not get restorative sleep most nights were most likely to report new widespread pain.

John McBeth, PhD, of the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Center at Keele University, led this study. According to Dr. McBeth and colleagues, one in four men and women who are over 65 visit a doctor due to widespread pain every 12 months. The pain may stem from a number of different causes, including physical trauma, obesity and osteoarthritis.

sleepingDr. McBeth and team recruited 4,326 older adults to participate in this study. Of the participants who reported some pain at the beginning of the study, 24.6 percent reported new pain at the follow-up.

The researchers found that people who did not sleep well, or who had “non-restorative” sleep most nights, were significantly more likely to report new widespread pain.

The participants who reported anxiety and had a poor physical health-related quality of life were also more likely to report widespread pain at follow-up.

To learn good sleep habits for life balance, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. How is the overall health of your healthcare staff? Contact me today to implement a program that teaches nurses to care for themselves so they can care for others.

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