According to an overview presented at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, many patients’ sleep complaints are comorbid with pain disorders.

Alon Avidan, MD, MPH, a neurologist at the Ronald Reagan University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center says the literature suggests a relationship between sleep disturbances and pain.

A 2011 article in the Clinical Journal of Pain showed that patients’ pain scales and pain ratings increased on the day after a night of poor sleep. Additionally, a day of increased pain was followed by a night of poor sleep.

“Morning headaches are 3 times more common in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome,” said Dr. Avidan. “Asking patients about sleep, snoring, waking up with a headache, and excessive daytime sleepiness is really helpful. Once you treat the underlying sleep-disordered breathing, the pain scales improve.”   Neurology Reviews   August  2014

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