Pain Key Factor if People Not Getting Enough Sleep A new poll by the National Sleep Foundation finds that pain is a key factor in the gap between the amount of sleep Americans say they need and the amount theyÛªre getting ÛÒ an average 42 minute sleep debt for those with chronic pain and 14 minutes for those whoÛªve suffered from acute pain in the past week. By contrast, thereÛªs no overall sleep debt for those without pain. About one in three of those with no pain donÛªt always or often get a good nightÛªs sleep or the sleep they need to feel their best, or have had trouble falling or staying asleep in the past week. Those problems rise even higher among individuals who do have chronic or acute pain. The 2015 Sleep in Americaã¢ Poll finds that pain joins two related concerns ÛÒ stress and poor health ÛÒ as key correlates of shorter sleep durations and worse sleep quality. But there are paths to resolving the problem: The sleep gap narrows sharply among those who make sleep a priority. ÛÏTaking control of your sleep by being motivated, setting a routine bedtime and creating a supportive sleep environment are relevant even for those with pain,Û said David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. The study finds that 21 percent of Americans experience chronic pain and 36 percent have had acute pain in the past week. Those combine to a majority of the nation’s adult population, 57 percent, leaving 43 percent who report being pain free. Sixty-five percent of those with no pain reported good or very good sleep quality, while only 46 percent of those with acute pain and 36 percent of those with chronic pain did the same. Additionally, 23 percent of those with chronic pain reported higher stress levels, compared with 7 percent of those without pain. Those with acute or chronic pain are more likely to have sleep problems impact their daily lives. Among people whoÛªve had sleep difficulties in the past week, more than four in 10 of those with chronic pain say those difficulties interfered with their work. That drops to 17 percent of those without pain. People with pain are also far more apt than others to report that lack of sleep interferes with their mood, activities, relationships and enjoyment of life overall. People with pain also feel less control over their sleep, worry more about lack of sleep affecting their health and exhibit greater sleep sensitivity. TheyÛªre more likely than others to say environmental factors make it more difficult for them to get a good nightÛªs sleep. These factors include noise, light, temperature and their mattresses alike, suggesting that taking greater care of the bedroom environment may be particularly helpful to pain sufferers. Nearly one in four people with chronic pain, 23 percent, say theyÛªve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder by a doctor, compared with just 6 percent of all others. ÛÏClinicians and pain sufferers know that pain and sleep problems present together and aggravate each other.åÊThis poll confirms the relationship between pain and sleep. Fortunately, it also shows that simple steps to improving sleep can be beneficial,Û said Dr. Timothy Roehrs, PhD, Henry Ford Hospital. ÛÏSleep quality and duration should be considered a vital sign, as they are strong indicators of overall health and quality of life,Û said Kristen Knutson, PhD, National Sleep Foundation Sleep in Americaã¢ Poll Scholar. ÛÏExtremely long or short sleep durations are associated with more specific conditions, but for many people who are close to getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, getting just 15 to 30 minutes more sleep a night could make difference in how they feel.Û ÛÏUnderstanding the importance of sleep and taking a proactive approach to bed times can help everyone improve their sleep, even people with pain,Û said Knutson. ÛÏTaking control of your sleep is an important step in taking control of your health.Û The complete 2015 Summary of Findings report can be downloaded at:åÊhttp://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-polls-data/2015-sleep-and-pain.