Can we feel pain when we sleep?
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American study provides important insights for athletes
Every footballer knows the feeling: After a strenuous training session, you are rarely spared minor injuries. These can cause intense pain that disturbs your sleep. According to an American study, poor sleep also increases the perception of pain. We took a closer look at pain processing during sleep and provide you with the results of the study.
Direct connection between sleep and the sensation of pain
A restful night is important in order to start the day fresh and powerful the next morning. Persistent lack of sleep is not only detrimental to the performance of an athlete, but also expresses itself in other ways on the body: American researchers have found that lack of sleep disrupts the processing of pain in the brain and makes us more susceptible to pain. In one study, a University of California research team looked at the relationship between sleep and pain perception. The researchers found that without enough sleep, sensitivity to pain increases enormously.
Pain processing is blocked
Not only the activity of pain perception is stimulated by lack of sleep. The entire process of dealing with pain is decisively disrupted by too little sleep. The study shows that brain regions that play an important role in pain processing and relief are much lower in activity in participants who have been sleep deprived or exposed to disorders. Lack of sleep not only increases the activity of the pain-sensing regions of the brain, but also blocks the natural pain relieving centers.
Surveys confirm study results
In addition to the study, the Americans carried out a survey on this topic: In it, people were asked about their sleep quality and pain perception on the following day. The statements confirm the results of the study. There is a direct connection between lack of sleep and disturbed pain processing. If you yourself suffer from chronic pain or an injury from training, restless nights could make this sensation even worse. Processing is additionally hindered.
Therefore, after an injury, make sure you get good and adequate sleep. Taking special measures to achieve a high sleep potential is worthwhile and advances your healing.
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