Waking up in the idle of the night can be a pain -- literally. New research from John's Hopkins University shows that prolonged sleep disturbances may contribute to chronic pain, most likely by hindering the body's natural pain-control functions. The study followed 32 healthy women for a week: For three nights, one group of participants was woken up every hour for eight hours, while the rest slept undisturbed. On the following days, women in the disrupted-sleep group experienced an increase in spontaneous pain.
If you do wake up during the night, help yourself swiftly return to dreamland by breathing deeply and counting each breath. "And don't try to recover by consuming a lot of caffeine the next day," urges sleep specialist and neurologist Dr. Sarah Zallek. "That's just going to make you more likely to have another bad night of sleep."