Everyone experiences a bad night’s sleep occasionally, and we recognise the consequences of this the next day. Feeling groggy or irritable, low in mood and less alert overall. Most of the time, our bodies are able to recover the next night with little issue and no long-term impact. Sleep is an essential pillar of our health, and even though its role is not fully understood by researchers and scientists, we all know how restorative a good night’s sleep is!
For some people with chronic illnesses however, the issue of sleep can have a huge impact on the management of long term conditions, and equally, research has shown that individuals who have disturbed sleep over long periods of time are at higher risk of developing certain illnesses over time. We call this interaction a bi-directional relationship. We know this interaction occurs regularly in people with chronic pain conditions; in that persistent pain can easily disrupt sleep over long periods, and research has also shown that disturbed sleep may also heighten pain experience.
The new SCRIP study, being conducted at University College London’s Lifespan Learning and Sleep Laboratory, led by doctoral researcher Zoe Zambelli is trying to understand what advice and services people with chronic pain are accessing regarding sleep management as well as pain management. There are many excellent pain management programmes and effective treatment pathways, but often sleep disturbances among these individuals are overlooked and not promptly addressed. Therefore, there is an opportunity to not only unravel the relationship between sleep and pain further, but to understand from individuals themselves how to improve services so that sleep issues are addressed at an earlier stage, before they become problematic.
At present we are calling for adults living with any non-cancer chronic pain to participate in the first phase of research: an online survey which asks about access to treatment and services, as well as general wellbeing. If you fit this criteria and would like to be involved, you can access the survey via this link: https://uclioe.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8ekwsc5TwLdS8ct
You may also wish to visit the webpage: www.lilaslab.com/SCRIPstudy or contact the research directly if you have any questions or comments firstname.lastname@example.org. This research project has been granted ethical approval by the UCL IOE Ethics Committee.