Ripple Effects of Insomnia May Include Enhanced Pain Sensitivity

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Effects of InsomniaMost people aim for a full night’s sleep, however; there are many factors that can make this difficult or impossible, including a busy schedule and sleeplessness. A lack of sleep can cause a number of unwanted effects, including wavering concentration, grumpiness, and deteriorating health. A new study conducted in Norway reveals there may be another downside to insomnia: increased pain sensitivity. Dr. Jerry Strauss, our experienced dentist, believes a better understanding of pain tolerance can lead to innovative treatments that enhance the patient experience.

The study, which was conducted at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Bergen, looked at over 10,000 volunteers with varying degrees of sleeplessness. At the beginning, the participants were asked about their quality of sleep and whether they experience insomnia before being subjected to tolerance tests that involved immersing their hands in icy water for 106 seconds. A comparison of the people found that those with the sleep disorder tended to withdraw their hands early more often than those who slept well. They also noted that the more severe the insomnia the sooner the individual would remove their hands.

While it’s important to note that correlation doesn’t equal causation, and there are many more questions to be asked about this potential relationship, medical and dental professionals should make an effort to factor this possible link into their treatment, such as offering sedation dentistry options or other pain minimizing solutions. Additionally, patients who experience disrupted sleep are encouraged to seek out help to enhance their well-being across multiple categories.

For more information about this study and how our dental team strives to make your experience as comfortable and pain-free as possible, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Strauss, please contact today.