Here's another reason why getting the right amount of shut-eye every night is important. A study published in the journal SLEEP and reported on has noted that giving your body the rest it needs increases your alertness and reduces your sensitivity to pain.

Lead author Timothy Roehrs, PhD, and his team randomly assigned 18 very sleepy volunteers to either get their usual hours of sleep or spend ten hours in bed for four straight nights. Their daytime sleepiness was then monitored with a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), and their pain sensitivity was measured using a heat stimulus.

Those in the 10-hour group slept for approximately 1.8 hours more than those who weren't, and they showed an increase in daytime alertness and less sensitivity to pain. They were also able to tolerate heat stimulus during the trial for 25 percent longer than those who had less rest.

Roehrs notes, "Our results suggest the importance of adequate sleep in various chronic pain conditions or in preparation for elective surgical procedures. We were surprised by the magnitude of the reduction in pain sensitivity, when compared to the reduction produced by taking codeine." Codeine is a type of analgesic with morphine-like effects used to treat mild to moderate pain.

Sleep is not just a natural energy booster, it's also a natural painkiller. Try your best to get enough rest every night to give your body the chance to recuperate and power up, so you'll be able to better withstand the stresses and the occasional paper cuts that a new day may bring.

(Photo by TempusVolat via Flickr Creative Commons)

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