Sleep Issues and Chronic Pain

Waking up can get you down.

As many 20% of adults in the United States are living with chronic pain. Among other things, people with chronic pain are more likely to experience problems sleeping.


Sleep is a vital function, and the impact of pain-related sleep disturbance can be significant enough to impair your quality of life. Working with a pain specialist is the first step to obtaining relief from chronic pain, feeling better, and, as a result, sleeping better.

Insomnia and chronic pain

Insomnia is most commonly linked with chronic pain. Patients with persistent pain report trouble falling asleep or staying asleep more than any other type of sleep problem. You may find yourself tossing and turning, trying hard to fall asleep; when you do finally drift off, you may wake up repeatedly.


For some patients with chronic pain, insomnia comes and goes. You may have some periods where you get to sleep and stay asleep without a problem and others when you just can’t seem to get restful sleep.


We consider your insomnia chronic when it occurs at least three nights a week for three months or more. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re doing the right thing by scheduling a visit with us here at the Carolinas Center for Advanced Management of Pain. Our board-certified pain management physicians can get to the root of your pain and develop a treatment plan to address it as well as issues such as trouble sleeping.

How does chronic pain impact sleep?

Your nervous system regulates sensory information and plays a key role in pain signals and the perception of pain. The intricate array of neurons and nerves that make up the nervous system also regulate, in part, sleep and recovery. Disturbances in your nervous system are implicated in both pain and sleep problems. This explains why chronic pain and trouble sleeping often go hand-in-hand.


What’s more, patients with chronic pain often have higher levels of stress and anxiety as a result of their symptoms. Both anxiety and stress are linked to insomnia, making chronic pain a recipe for sleep issues.

Treating chronic pain improves sleep quality

With adequate pain management, stress and anxiety levels decline, and many patients find that their sleep issues improve. A comprehensive pain management plan is key to better sleep.


Pain that flares up in the evening can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep, as well as stay asleep. In turn, problems sleeping can worsen chronic pain. This vicious cycle can have a major impact on your quality of life. Chronic pain and sleep problems can make it more challenging to handle your everyday activities. It can cause reduced productivity at work or school and interfere with your social life.


Effectively treating pain and insomnia requires the help of medical professionals that specialize in pain management. A comprehensive treatment plan may include:



We may incorporate a multidisciplinary approach and may enlist the help of specialists outside of our practice to create a care team to best manage your pain and the symptoms that result from it.

To learn more about how we can help you achieve chronic pain relief and get better sleep, schedule a visit by calling the office nearest you. We have convenient locations throughout North and South Carolina.

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