If you suffer from arthritis, you probably experience chronic pain caused by inflammation and joint swelling. There are many types of arthritis, but all of them provoke discomfort. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that’s provoked by wear-and-tear on the joints. This is the most common arthritis that affects 32.5 million U.S. adults. It usually occurs in older adults when the cartilage in the joints wears down.
Other forms include gout and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune reaction in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects 1.5 million people in the US.
Regardless of the type of arthritis you have, the associated pain probably impacts your sleep.
According to the CDC, about 30 percent of arthritis sufferers are getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep a night. Fortunately, you can use these methods that can help you avoid poor sleep due to arthritis pain:
1. Set the room temperature
Room temperature is essential when it comes to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a cool room for best sleep practices, between 60 and 67 degrees. However, it’s cooler at night so this can worsen the pain. So avoid keeping the room too cold. The temperature in your room must be warm enough so that you’re not too cold, as too low temperatures can lead to muscle tightening and joint pain.
Try soothing your mind before bed. In some cases, anxiety about pain or joint destruction might also lead to poor sleep. If your brain is associating the nighttime with pain, try to lower your stress levels in the evening. Read a book on an enjoyable topic, try deep breathing, or listen to music. You may also want to avoid stressful news reports or social media if it upsets you.
3. Get regular exercise
You can choose whatever kind of physical activity. In any case, regular exercise is a crucial part of arthritis management that will help you boot your sleep.
You can decide what kind of exercise you prefer. But it’s essential that exercise is done during the day, as opposed too close to bedtime, as exercise close to bedtime might make it more difficult to fall asleep.
4. Manage arthritis properly
It’s important to make sure your arthritis management is proper. Any steps to control your condition, whether it be taking prescription medications to lower inflammation for patients with rheumatoid arthritis or losing extra pounds for people with osteoarthritis, might help you sleep better at night since pain is the main culprit of poor sleep in arthritis sufferers.
5. Make your bed comfortable
In order to have a healthy and full sleep with arthritis, you have to be able to get comfortable. Your mattress should be firm enough so that it allows you to be able to turn from side to side, or back to the side.
If the mattress is too soft, this can make it more difficult to move in bed and if the mattress is too firm, it might not help to cushion the painful joints enough.
6. Lose those extra pounds
Losing extra pounds helps to lower stress on weight-bearing joints. Losing weight might also help lower the amount of pain at the end of the day and interfere less with sleep. Obesity is actually a risk factor for arthritis, meaning obese people are more prone to joint issues.
Another link between obesity and arthritis is that both conditions are associated with sleep apnea. All potential causes of sleep issues can also affect patients with arthritis and might be common among patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.