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Chronic pain and sleep

Insomnia is a major contributing factor to chronic pain and many patients who suffer from chronic pain, also suffer from insomnia and sleeping disorders.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than 3 months. It affects 1 in 8 people in the UK. There are different types of chronic pain and many are not clearly understood. Chronic pain can be related to an illness or disability, such as cancer or arthritis or pain which starts after an injury or accident, for example, a broken limb. Normally, the pain fades away as the injury heals, but chronic pain is different and does not go away.

How are pain and sleep linked?

There can be a vicious cycle between sleep disturbance and pain. In some there may be an element of chicken and egg – is the pain causing the sleep problems or is the poor quality of your sleep making your pain feel worse? Pain can, for example, be the main reason that you wake in the night, and these interruptions during the night can lead you to get less sleep, and most important of all, less good quality restorative sleep. This sleep deprivation can lower your pain threshold and your tolerance for pain and thus can make your pain feel worse.

Getting better quality sleep is an important element of improving pain for those people with disturbed sleep.

How will this therapy help with my pain?

Getting better quality sleep, and more of it, can improve your pain threshold and cause you to experience less pain. Our insomnia therapy is clinically proven to significantly improve sleep efficiency, which is an indicator of sleep quality. When dealing with chronic pain and sleep, it is important to begin by finding the source of the problem. So, we need to figure out if sleep deprivation is causing the pain or if the pain is causing the sleep deprivation.

If you have already seen your doctor and had the source of your pain diagnosed, then our assessment can help diagnose if there is additional insomnia. If there is, it can then be treated via our online therapy programme. Our therapy programme lasts for 6-8 weeks, and users who follow the plan as directed see improvements in their sleep within 2-3 weeks.

The registration and assessment process takes about 10 minutes to complete. The treatment you will receive is the same treatment which is used to treat patients with insomnia in the largest sleep clinics in the UK, and is proven to be as effective as face to face therapy.

Sleepstation is delivered by Dr Kirstie Anderson, one of the UK’s foremost sleep specialists and one of the few consultant neurologists to specialise in sleep.