Less Sleep = More Pain
Science is confirming something that many people already know instinctively: having a night of inadequate or broken sleep can make the next day more painful. Getting to bed on time and being able to sleep well aren’t a luxury for someone with arthritis who wants to function well during the daytime. In fact, sleep is so important for people with arthritis that it’s now recommended that doctors treat sleep disturbances in people with arthritis even independently of other symptoms, such as the level of joint pain or presence of depression.
Whether you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or one of the many other conditions that can cause ongoing joint pain, making sure that your body is properly positioned during the night is important. For this reason, it’s key to make sure that you’re not using an uncomfortable, old, or worn-out mattress. When should you begin to suspect that your mattress needs replacing? The rule of thumb is to get a new mattress every ten years, or whenever you start waking up stiff and sore, or tossing and turning more frequently during the night.
Treat Your Pain Before Bed
Most arthritis pain can respond at least a little to treatment. It’s important to treat your pain before bed, to enable you to fall asleep. (But talk to your doctor about when you should take your medication: some medicines, such as prednisone, can have insomnia as a side effect.) Make sure to make yourself as comfortable as possible before you get into bed.
Move During the Day
Even if you’re not feeling up to an aggressive aerobics session, gentle movement during the day can have a profound effect on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. As an added bonus, many people with arthritis find that movement helps them gain a larger range of motion. Arthritis-friendly exercise options include walking, swimming, and yoga. Timing matters: be sure to schedule your workout no later than 1-2 hours before bedtime, since exercise late at night can be overstimulating.
If you live with chronic pain, you already know that your quality of life often directly correlates with the amount of self-care that you’re able to engage in. While we can’t always prevent pain flares, having a high-quality mattress is one easy way to make sure that you’re being as kind to your body as possible.
Sleep Tips For Arthritis – www.arthritis.org
Arthritis Pain And Sleep Tips – www.webmd.com