Acute (short term) or chronic (long term) pain makes life difficult. Those suffering from pain issues often have many medical problems, are on medications, and are at risk for developing depression and/or anxiety due to their day to day struggles with pain. But did you know pain can be directly related to sleep? Research has shown that there is a bi-directional relationship between pain and sleep. First, pain can disrupt sleep, causing problems getting to sleep or staying asleep. And since the brain is active during sleep replenishing certain types of neurochemicals and hormones that aid the body in healing itself, poor sleep can result in making pain issues much worse. Of course, it is important to be closely followed by a pain specialist to optimally address issues with pain. It is also important to note, however, that a sleep specialist may be able to improve the quality of sleep, thus ending the negative cycle occurring between pain and poor quality sleep.