More Sleep May Help Some People Feel Less Pain

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Not getting enough sleep? Some extra Zzzs each night may improve more than just your daytime alertness. New research shows more sleep may also improve your ability to withstand pain.

In fact, sleepy volunteers who got about two hours more sleep per night for four nights showed improvements in a test measuring pain sensitivity. Participants who got more sleep were also a lot more alert during the daytime.

"If you are already sleeping eight hours a night, you probably don't need more sleep," says researcher Thomas Roth, PhD. He is director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. But "if you spend six hours in bed a night, spend eight -- preferably nine," he says.  

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

"For people who don't get enough sleep, sleeping longer decreases pain sensitivity," he says. This likely holds for all types of pain, including chronic back pain and other painful disorders, Roth says.

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SOURCE: WebMD Health News
Denise Mann
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