Losing sleep reduces pain tolerance

Hate those days when you wake up without getting a full night of sleep?  You're tired, irritable and may seem to have less control over your snacking for the day.  Studies have shown that chronic sleep loss is also associated with weight gain and depression.  And now a new study from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has found that sleep loss can also decrease your tolerance for pain.

According to the report, losing sleep can disrupt the body's pain signaling system, heightening sensitivity to painful stimuli.  The researchers feel that this may have implications for those with chronic pain, as the lack of shut-eye can also blunt the effects of pain killers.

The study assessed this phenomena by exposing groups of people to different amounts of sleep, then asking them to hold a finger over radiant heat for as long as possible.  Those who were allowed to sleep the longest withstood the stimulus 25% longer than those who got less sleep.

Sourced from: The New York Times, Really? Losing Sleep Reduces Your Pain Tolerance