Pain vs. Sleeping Issues

When Pain Prevents You from Getting a Full Night's Sleep


Sleeping Issues, Pain vs. Sleeping Issues

Pain vs. Sleeping Issues – Pain is an unfortunately common factor in many athletes’ lives, whether it’s general soreness from a good workout, jaw pain from tooth grinding, back pain from lifting weights incorrectly, or the sharp pain of a pulled or strained muscle.

These are common for many people, but athletes are more likely to feel these kinds of pain more often, thanks to their active lifestyle. Pain can affect every part of an athlete’s life. It can make it difficult for them to move easily, which will make it much more difficult for them to work out, and it can make it difficult for them to get a full night’s sleep, which in turn makes it difficult to heal from the injury that is causing the pain they are experiencing.

Sleeping Issues

Sleep is incredibly important to an athlete’s life. By getting more sleep, athletes have been able to improve their reaction times as well as their athletic performance [1]. No matter what kind of athlete someone is, sleep is when the human body works to heal itself from the day’s stresses, both physically and mentally.

If pain is keeping someone awake at night, they will be less likely to continue to exercise or be in a good mood the next day. [2] They will also be less tolerant of pain and more likely to get injured.

The good news is that there are many ways that anyone can work to make their environment more comfortable and restful.

Severe Pain

People who are experiencing a severe or shooting pain that is preventing them from sleeping should visit their doctor or chiropractor. These professionals will be able to figure out the source of the problems and help solve them sooner rather than later. If someone cannot identify why they are in pain, it may be useful to visit a doctor to talk about a sleep study.

Those who are experiencing slight discomfort may not need to visit a doctor. They may need to adjust their sleeping environment in small ways.

For example, if they are dealing with regular shoulder or neck pain, they may need to replace their pillows or mattress toppers. Just like mattresses, pillows only give support for a limited amount of time. Chances are, their pillow is well past its “Best By” date. Memory foam pillows can last up to three years, but other pillows do not last as long. For those who have a mattress topper, that might need replacing as well.

If they are constantly waking up with jaw pain or headaches, they might want to look into a mouthguard designed to stop them from grinding their teeth together. This phenomenon is a common issue and an easily remedied one. A dentist can help you find the right mouthguard.


1 – The Effects of Sleep Extension on the Athletic Performance of Collegiate Basketball Players
Cheri D. Mah, Kenneth E. Mah, Eric J. Kezirian, William C. Dement
Sleep. 2011 Jul 1; 34(7): 943–950. Published online 2011 Jul 1. DOI: 10.5665/SLEEP.1132
2 – Sleep and Pain: Interaction of Two Vital Functions
Roehrs T, Roth T.
Semin Neurol 2005 Mar; 25(1) 106-16 DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-867079

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