How You Suffer When Your Spouse Experiences Chronic Pain

When your spouse experiences chronic pain, your own sleep could suffer, suggests research published in the journal PAIN.

In an experiment, researchers recruited more than 100 people who were at least 50 years old and suffered from knee osteoarthritis, along with their spouses or significant others who shared a residence. The study found that on nights when one person reported greater knee pain, his or her partner experienced poorer sleep quality.

The scientists also discovered that the partner without pain had more trouble getting refreshing sleep if both partners reported that they had a close relationship. Why one person’s pain affects his or her partner’s sleep isn’t known yet, say researchers.