Poor Sleep Leads To Widespread Pain In Elderly Study
â€‹We know sleep is important, but what happenswhen you don't get enough of it in your later yearsé A new study published in the Arthritis Rheumatologyjournal shows that nonrestorative sleep, the kind when you wake up feeling tired and wornout despite getting your usual amount, contributes to a higher risk of widespread pain in olderadults. The British researchers defined widespreadpain as the kind that affects multiple parts of your body, such as fibromyalgia. (Via eMedTV) The study looked at the physical and mentalhealth of more than 4,300 adults older than
50 and found that after three years, 19 percentof the participants had developed some kind of new widespread pain. (Via Arthritis Rheumatology) According to HealthDay, the researchers explainas people age â€” muscle, bone and nerve pain become more prevalent and that getting enoughsleep might be one of the most important factors in treating pain. But, fair warning, it is possible for sleepto be too much of a good thing. Last October, a study by the CDC found toolittle sleep and too much sleep are linked to chronic diseases, such as diabetes. (ViaSleep Journal)
As New York Daily News reports, the presidentof the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says, quot;Sleeping longer doesn't necessarilymean you're sleeping well. . Both the quality and quantity of sleep impact your health.quot; The British researchers say managing otherissues such as anxiety and physical health is also key to decreasing widespread pain.
Study helps explain sleep problems in the elderly
Sleep disruption, like insomnia and other problems, are very common actually especially when one ages and especially in the context of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's diseasebut in many patients that we see the cause of the underlying sleepfragmentation and and insomnia is unknown so we don't know why itis that people develop these sleep abnormalities So we hypothesized that that someof this might be related to degeneration
in areas of the brain that control sleep we took a look at sleep in a bunch of older folks wemeasured it using wristwatch devices called actigraphs and thenwhen they pass away we took a look at brain regions or a specific brainregion that's thought to be related to sleepand what we found is that individuals who had relatively poor sleep alsohad relatively fewer neurons in this area ofthe brain called the intermediate
nucleus And what this suggests is that in in a fair number of people older people in particular who have sleep disturbances a neuron loss inthe intermediate nucleus in this brain region might in fact be an important cause of their sleep disturbances the insomnia that you're experiencing as an older personmight not simply be something that's
in your head it's not juststress related or related to to to to I mean it's not yourfault that you have these sleep disturbances which is sometimes it ends up being being sort of the message that's conveyed that if you onlyjust sort of relax a little bit you'll sleep better there's a sort of a hard biological basisfor insomnia in a lot of people looking further afield into the future this may lay thegroundwork for targeted therapies for
insomnia you know now that we've identified thecell group uh that's that's associated withinsomnia in a fair number of people we may be able to target either thatcell group anatomically or using medications or developing medications that target the neurotransmitters expressed by the cell group.