Want Less Pain? Get More Sleep

Advice to “sleep it off” may soon have a much wider application. Research put forth by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (real name) suggests that extending the time we sleep reduces our sensitivity to pain. Yes, even when we’re awake. An academy news release reports that researchers studied 18 healthy, pain-free, but sleepy volunteers who were randomly assigned to four nights of either maintaining their habitual sleep time or extending their sleep time by spending 10 hours in bed per night. They measured sensitivity to pain by asking the participants to hold a “radiant heat source.” The researchers found that for those who extended their sleep (an average of 1.8 hours a night), the length of time before participants removed their finger from a radiant heat source increased by 25 percent, indicating that their sensitivity to pain was reduced as much as if they had taken 60 mg of codeine. Read more from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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