Sleep is meant to be a time of renewal, so that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Getting enough sleep is vital for good health. Lack of sleep can affect you in many different ways—whether it’s your mood, appetite, focus, or health in some other form—chances are you will notice when you’re not feeling rested. As it turns out, there might be a surprising reason you can’t sleep well at night. According to a new study, if your partner is experiencing chronic pain, you might not be sleeping as well as usual.
The study included 145 couples at or over the age of 50 in which one partner had knee osteoarthritis that caused moderate to intense pain. The participants recorded their levels of pain, sleep quality and levels of feeling rested or refreshed in the morning over 22 consecutive nights. According to study author, Lynn M. Martire, Ph.D., of Penn State University, “compromised sleep caused by exposure to a loved one’s suffering may be one pathway to spousal caregivers’ increased risk for health problems, including cardiovascular disease. In developing behavioral couple-oriented interventions for arthritis, it is important to identify the couples in which the spouse is most affected by patient suffering.”
When patients reported higher levels of knee pain at the end of the day, their spouses slept poorly that night and felt less refreshed in the morning. Spouses who awoke with symptoms of depression and bad mood were more likely to have poor sleep quality and less refreshing sleep.
Couples with the closest marriage bonds had the strongest association between patient pain levels and the spouse’s ability to get a good night’s sleep, according to the study in the September issue of the journal Pain. “Sleep is a critical health behavior, and individuals whose sleep is affected by their partner’s pain are at risk for physical and psychiatric problems. Spouses whose sleep is compromised may also be less able to respond empathically to patients’ symptoms and need for support,” Martire said in a journal news release.
Naturally, the spouse experiencing the chronic pain may also miss out on valuable sleep. According to WebMD, 50 to 90 percent of people struggling with chronic pain do not get a good night’s sleep. If you or your partner is in pain, you owe it to yourselves to eliminate the pain so you can both get the rest you need. Try Dr. Harris’ Original ETArelief™ Capsules with the concentrated extract of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels. Clinical research has shown that the Green Lipped Mussel improves and maintains the long-term health of joints and cartilage. And to target your pain directly, use Dr. Harris’ Original ETArelief Pain Relief Gel, a fast-acting, deep penetrating topical containing Cox-2 and Lox – both herbal pain inhibitors.