By Wyatt LaVigne, PT, ATC

Q: I seem to have more aches and pains when I’m tired. Does being short on sleep increase aches and pains?

A: Yes, lack of sleep commonly causes increased pain and sensitivity to touch. Along with feeling fatigued, lethargic, and irritable, people who are sleep-deprived tend to feel more aches and pains as well. Good, quality sleep can decrease pain, improve your mood, and help you to be more productive during the day.

How much sleep do I really need?

On average,

  • Toddlers: 11-14 hours a night
  • Preschoolers: 10-13 hours a night
  • School-aged children: 9-11 hours a night
  • Teens: 8-10 hours a night
  • Adults: 7-9 hours a night
  • Older adults: 7-8 hours a night

How can I improve my sleep?

Here are some tips:

  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime.
  • Unwind before bedtime. Take some time to relax, but limit time on screens like your phone or TV.
  • Exercise a few hours before bedtime. People who exercise three times a week or more have deeper, more restful sleep.
  • Avoid naps during the day, especially long naps, as they may interfere with your sleep at night.
  • Follow the same routine. Try to keep the same sleep and wake schedule each day, including weekends.

If you’re still having sleep problems, talk to your health care provider. Our providers at Rainy Lake Medical Center are here to help.