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Pain and Sleep: Getting Help

Getting help for pain and sleep problems isn’t always easy. "Everybody tends to play down the significance of being sleep-deprived," says Roth, "including doctors."

And unfortunately, pain is often undertreated as well. Some doctors focus too much on trying to sort out the cause of the pain and too little on the pain itself. As a result, people can suffer pointlessly for weeks, months, or even years.

Getting the right treatment can take some determination. You can start with your family practitioner. But you might also want to seek out experts in either pain management or sleep disorders. You might need both -- tackling the problem often takes a collaborative approach.

Just remember not to underestimate the problem. The consequences of life with pain and sleep deprivation can be serious.

"If you're suffering with chronic sleep problems, get help," says Kramer. "There's just no reason to tough it out on your own."

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