As we age, we’re more likely to experience physical pain.
Research has shown that non-refreshing sleep—sleep that results in waking to feel tired—is the single most likely predictor of the development of widespread pain in adults over age 50. Rates of chronic pain rise sharply among older adults, and people over the age of 60 are twice as likely than their younger counterparts to experience pain in some form.
Aging also may make us feel pain more strongly: research shows that as we get older, our tolerance for pain decreases.
The presence of physical pain interferes with sleep, making it harder to fall asleep and to stay asleep. At the same time, poor quality and insufficient sleep contribute to pain in several ways, decreasing pain tolerance, increasing pain intensity, and in some cases raising the risk for the development of chronic pain conditions that become more common with age. Lack of sleep also contributes to a greater loss of bone density and an increased risk for osteoporosis.
Less pain also means you’ll sleep better, and continue to gain all the other age-defying benefits that come with sound, restorative slumber. You’ll also have greater capacity and energy for exercise and other activities and pursuits that keep you looking and feeling young, and slow biological aging.
Take it from The Sleep Doctor: your nightly sleep is the underutilized, ultra-powerful tool to slow aging, maintain a youthful, vibrant appearance, and enhance the quality of your life as you age.