In Older Adults, Current Pain May Lead to Insomnia Even Years Later

In a study appearing in Rheumatology, participants 50 or older answered 2 questionnaires: one identifying pain location and severity and the other concerning sleep. In a follow up 3 years later, people with pain (compared to those without) more likely had worsened sleep. People with widespread pain (also compared to those without) were twice as likely to develop insomnia.

People in pain frequently alter their lives because of their pain. This study highlighted the fact that people in pain may reduce physical activity and social interactions, which may in turn limit outside exposure to the sun, which may alter circadian rhythms. Older people, even those in pain, should be physically and mentally active to avoid problems with insomnia now, and in the future.

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