2015 Sleep in America™ Poll Finds Pain a Significant Challenge When It Comes to Americans’ Sleep

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Date:
Monday, March 2, 2015

majority of the nation's adult population, 57 percent, leaving 43 percent who report being pain free.

 Beyond sleep debt, self-reported sleep quality and stress levels underscore the effects of pain on sleep.

Sixty-five percent of those with no pain reported good or very good sleep quality, while only 46 percent of those with acute pain and 36 percent of those with chronic pain did the same. Additionally, 23 percent of those with chronic pain reported higher stress levels, compared with 7 percent of those without pain.

Those with acute or chronic pain are more likely to have sleep problems impact their daily lives. Among people who’ve had sleep difficulties in the past week, more than four in 10 of those with chronic pain say those difficulties interfered with their work. That drops to 17 percent of those without pain. People with pain are also far more apt than others to report that lack of sleep interferes with their mood, activities, relationships and enjoyment of life overall. 

People with pain also feel less control over their sleep, worry more about lack of sleep affecting their health and exhibit greater sleep sensitivity. They’re more likely than others to say environmental factors make it more difficult for them to get a good night’s sleep. These factors include noise, light, temperature and their mattresses alike, suggesting that taking greater care of the bedroom environment may be particularly helpful to pain sufferers.

While both chronic and acute pain relate to lost sleep, the survey indicates that chronic pain is an especially powerful problem. Indeed, nearly one in four people with chronic pain, 23 percent, say they’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder by a doctor, compared with just 6 percent of all others.

“Clinicians and pain sufferers know that pain and sleep problems present together and aggravate each other. This poll confirms the relationship between pain and sleep. Fortunately, it also shows that simple steps to improving sleep can be beneficial,” said Dr. Timothy Roehrs, PhD, Henry Ford Hospital.    

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