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Restless Sleep – A Possible Cause of Severe Pain in Older Adults

Restless SleepWaking up in the middle of a poor night’s sleep is not only exhausting but can also be annoying, especially for older adults. According to a new study conducted by a team of researchers, non-restorative sleep is one of the main risk factors contributing towards the development of pain among older adults aged above 50 years.

The study results were published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. Often, osteoarthritis is associated with widespread pain. A new study reveals that apart from osteoarthritis insufficient sleep, memory problems, anxiety and poor health may also increase the same risk in older adults.

It is a known fact that about 80% of older adults experience muscle, nerve and joint pain on a daily basis. Reports suggest that more than 15% of women and 10% of men above 50 years suffer from these problems as they get older. This is an important sign of fibromyalgia as this condition is characterized by musculoskeletal aches accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.

As part of the survey, the demographic data along with information about specific physical and mental health symptoms of more than 4,300 adults older than 50 years was compiled. It was reported that more than 2,700 people had some pain at the start but none had widespread pain.

After conducting 3 years of research follow up, it was found that 19% participants experienced pain in multiple areas of their body. Among the participants who suffered from prior aches, about 25% experienced new symptoms. On the other hand, those who had no aches at the beginning of the study experienced the same after 3 years. The results of the study signify the need for combined interventions for effective pain management in older adults.

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