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Losing Sleep? Be Prepared to Feel the Pain

Lack of sleep has been linked to many negative side effects including depression and weight gain. Now, scientists say that it may also weaken your tolerance for pain.

Recent studies show that sleep loss may disrupt the pain signaling system. There’s no clear reason why this might be, but one theory is that loss of sleep increases inflammation throughout the body.

A recent study in the journal Sleep featured a study performed by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The study examined 18 healthy adults and split them into two groups – one allowed to sleep for average of 9 hours, one averaging two fewer hours each night.

Researchers had both sets of subjects hold a finger to a source of radiant heat. After four nights, researchers found that the group allowed to sleep longer could withstand the painful stimuli much longer (about 25 percent on average).

For more on this check out the recent post to New York Time’s Well Blog discussing several other studies.

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