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Poor Sleep Leads To Widespread Pain In Elderly: Study

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Image Source:Flickr / RelaxingMusic

The British study found a link between non-restorative sleep and widespread pain in people older than 50.


by Amy Kluber

‚ÄčWe know sleep is important, but what happens when you don't get enough of it in your later years?

A new study published in the Arthritis & Rheumatology journal shows that nonrestorative sleep, the kind when you wake up feeling tired and worn out despite getting your usual amount, contributes to a higher risk of widespread pain in older adults.

The British researchers defined widespread pain as the kind that affects multiple parts of your body, such as fibromyalgia. (Via eMedTV)

The study looked at the physical and mental health of more than 4,300 adults older than 50 and found that after three years, 19 percent of the participants had developed some kind of new widespread pain. (Via Arthritis & Rheumatology)

According to HealthDay, the researchers explain as people age — muscle, bone and nerve pain become more prevalent and that getting enough sleep might be one of the most important factors in treating pain.

But, fair warning, it is possible for sleep to be too much of a good thing.

Last October, a study by the CDC found too little sleep and too much sleep are linked to chronic diseases, such as diabetes. (Via Sleep Journal)

As New York Daily News reports, the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says, "Sleeping longer doesn't necessarily mean you're sleeping well. … Both the quality and quantity of sleep impact your health."

The British researchers say managing other issues such as anxiety and physical health is also key to decreasing widespread pain.