Are you struggling to get sleep due to Rheumatoid arthritis? Here is what we have found regarding quality sleep and Rheumatoid Arthritis, plus 5 tips to help you get better sleep!
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes widespread joint pain. It may also cause additional symptoms, including fatigue and loss of appetite.
As reported by the American College of Rheumatology, about 1.3 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not fully understood. But what is known is that certain things may contribute to an increase in symptoms. One factor that affects rheumatoid arthritis is sleep.
People that have rheumatoid arthritis may have trouble falling and staying asleep for several reasons. For example, pain and medication side effects can make it challenging to get proper rest. Plus, it’s not uncommon for someone with a chronic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, to stress about their condition, future, or how it is impacting their families. And, this stress can also play a role in poor sleep.
Having rheumatoid arthritis may make it more difficult to get the rest you need. And, when you don’t get enough sleep, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may become worse. It becomes a vicious cycle. You can’t sleep because of pain, and lack of sleep increases symptoms, making sleep even more elusive.
One study published in the Journal Sleep analyzed the effect that loss of sleep had on pain perception and mood in people with rheumatoid arthritis compared to a controlled group.
Mood and pain perception were accessed before and after participants had partial night sleep deprivation. The participants were sleep-deprived from 11:00 p.m.to 3:00 a.m. The results indicated that even partial sleep deprivation was associated with an increase in pain.
Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine looked at the correlation between sleep quality and increased disease activity, inflammation, pain, and functional disability in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Disease activity was accessed using the Clinical Disease Activity Index. Pain level was reported using a questionnaire. Inflammatory markers were analyzed using blood tests measuring c-reactive protein. 57 percent of the participants reported some level of sleep deprivation. The people with non-optimal sleep had higher levels of pain and functional disability than those that got better rest.
You can cope with pain and discomfort better if you are well-rested. Getting enough sleep also is needed for overall health because sleep is restorative. It helps us recharge, and we all need that. But if you have a chronic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, it’s even more critical you get proper sleep to allow your body to heal. During the deeper stages of sleep, a growth hormone is released, which helps your body repair itself and heal.
Getting restorative sleep can help reduce fatigue and give you the energy you need for light exercise and other activities of daily living.
It’s clear that getting good sleep should be part of a rheumatoid arthritis management plan. There are several things you can do to improve your sleep, decrease pain, and help manage the condition, including the 5 tips below.
Light exercise can improve sleep, decrease fatigue, and help you maintain range of motion. Certain types of exercise may be hard on your joints. So, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Also, do not exercise too close to bedtime, or it may prevent you from falling asleep right away.
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced to help us fall asleep. But various factors can affect how much of the hormone you produce and when you produce it. Although oral supplements are available, a topical lotion infused with melatonin may be more effective. A topical lotion may provide better absorption and help you fall asleep faster than an oral supplement.
Going to bed and waking up about the same time each day can help you develop a natural sleep rhythm. Also, try to do something relaxing to help you unwind before bed. Your body will start to associate the activity with sleep and help rest your mind.
Apply a topical pain relief lotion shortly before bedtime to reduce discomfort from rheumatoid arthritis. With a topical lotion, you don’t have to worry about side effects that can happen with oral medications. Choose a topical lotion with pain-relieving ingredients like menthol, trolamine salicylate, and arnica. Other great ingredients to find in a topical pain reliever are capsicum, willow bark, and chondroitin.
Rheumatoid arthritis often causes pain in multiple joints. Consider using a pain-relieving bath bomb to relax and decrease discomfort before bed. Bath bombs containing arnica are great to reduce pain. Other great ingredients include Epsom salt, peppermint oil, and turmeric. Add a bath bomb to a warm bathtub and soak for about 20 minutes before hitting the sack.
Real Time Pain Relief not only cares about the quality ingredients that go into each and every one of our products – but also about the people who buy them. We hope this blog becomes a valued resource for your own personal journey to better health. For over 20 years, Real Time Pain Relief has provided family safe pain relief infused with Nature’s Ingredients. From the useful information in our articles to our high-quality products, we hope you feel better and pass it on!