The Interaction Between Pain and Sleep
Please feel free to review a Grand Rounds lecture I presented at the University of Michigan Medical School on the vital importance of pain and sleep. It turns out that there is a HUGE bidirectional relationship between sleep disturbances and pain levels. I have had many patients with intractable pain who have benefitted greatly by correcting their sleep disorders. I have even had some patients completely cured of their pain issues by correcting their sleep disorders.
The impact of poor quality sleep is so great on pain, that animal studies showed rats who were deprived of deep stage sleep became completely immune to morphine!
This is a little understood and very overlooked issue. One of my goals as a physician is to “think outside the box” and identify causes of pain that other physicians have overlooked. After all, if other physicians had cured you, you would not need to see me!
Sleep quality is one of the most important things there is outside the proverbial box.