The term ‘arthritis’ is used by the CDC to describe a number of conditions that cause trouble, most often pain and stiffness, for your joints or tissues around the joints. All these types of arthritis affect sleep.
That is because the thing these conditions all have in common is that they keep someone in pain. The discomfort makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. The inability to get enough sleep then makes managing the pain more difficult, and that in turn makes sleep harder.
Sleep Problems In People With RA
Not getting enough sleep when you have rheumatoid arthritis can cause disease flare-ups, which is a period of time when you experience increased symptoms. In addition, you tend to have more symptoms of depression when you can’t sleep well.
PsA Particularly Interferes With Sleep
Psoriatic arthritis causes skin problems and joint pain, which can interfere with sleep. A 2019 Polish study found that 68% of sufferers from this type of arthritis also have trouble getting enough sleep.
What Other Conditions Come With Arthritis That Will Affect Sleep?
It isn’t only the arthritis pain affecting sleep. Gout and PsA can be comorbid or happen at the same time as, sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you stop and start breathing at night, and this interferes with your ability to sleep.
How Does Lack Of Sleep Effect Your Well-Being?
Fatigue interferes with your ability to deal with your condition in a number of ways.
- Your body releases hormones to deal with pain while you sleep, so you are more susceptible to the pain during the day if you don’t get enough sleep.
- Lack of sleep reduces your ability to manage daily activities, including the ones that help you manage the pain.
- People with trouble sleeping experience higher levels of depression. Up to 31% of people with osteoarthritis report problems with falling asleep and staying asleep according to a study reported in Arthritis Care and Research. This lack of sleep on top of the pain increased signs of depression in people.
Getting More Sleep
There are a few things you can do to get the rest you need to make your condition more manageable.
- Cut back on alcohol consumption.
- Try to keep a regular bedtime and get up at the same time every morning.
- Clear distractions from your room.
- Avoid over-stimulation, such as doing stressful things or exercising, for 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
- Cut back on caffeine and other stimulants close to bedtime.
- You can also try over-the-counter melatonin as a sleep aid.
Getting the Help You Need
Sleep problems and their effect on your ability to deal with arthritis are sometimes ignored because people think the problems can’t be solved. Southern Pain Clinic feels differently. Our highly qualified staff members know all about the latest pain management techniques, and we specialize in non-surgical pain relief. When the pain of arthritis interferes with your sleep, contact us. We will work with your doctor and you to find the best treatment for you.