4 tips on how to stop arthritis impacting your sleep
As tough as it is dealing with arthritis on a day to day basis, especially if you are in extreme pain, it can get even worse if sleep quality is impacted. If you don’t get a decent night’s sleep, or at least an uninterrupted amount of sleep, it can cause the stress hormones in your brain to flare up. When this happens, you’re less likely to be able to manage your arthritis pain.
Apart from taking Rose-Hip Vital daily to help the pain and inflammation, and therefore help you get a more restful sleep, here’s a few seep tips which may help you get a better nights rest.
1. Check if your pillow and mattress are too hard or too soft.
It has been shown in studies that if your mattress and pillow are too soft or too hard, they are clearly not giving you the support that you need while you’re trying to rest. If you do wake up the next morning in pain when you were virtually pain free the night before, it might be time to consider changing your pillow or mattress to make sure that they’re giving you support you need and not making your pain worse.
2. Set a bedtime.
I know. Setting a bedtime sounds childish, but if you’re having trouble sleeping you may be overtired. If you are, your body will produce a chemical called cortisol to make sure that you’re awake when you want to be. Cortisol is the stress hormone in your body, and when you make a point to stay awake, your body starts to feel stressed. Have you ever felt more exhausted when you stay up a hour later than you do usually? That’s why setting a bedtime will help your body get into the rhythm of sleep and make sure you get your 6-8 hours needed.
3. Incorporate relaxing activities into the hours before you head to bed.
Calming activities such as listening to relaxing music or having a hot bath with bubbles are great to incorporate into your bed time routine. Doing something relaxing calms the body down, slows your heart rate, and assists the body to prepare for the resting time ahead. Meditating can help too. We share some great mindfulness apps here which may help the process. Setting yourself a rule of no electronics or TV after a certain time will certainly help too. Blue light radiating from our hand held devices and computers can also reck havoc with your cortisol levels and makes your body think it’s day time.
4. Exercise regularly
It has been shown that people who exercise regularly sleep better. However get your heart pumping before sunset as leaving it to after dark can increase adrenaline and over stimulate the brain which can keep you awake.
If these tips and others you try have failed you, there’s no shame in talking to your doctor about the fact that you’re in too much pain that you’re unable to sleep. If you’re not getting enough rest, your body has to overcompensate the next day and this will usually result in more painful flare ups for your arthritis or other joint inflammation. This is not ideal, so it makes sense to consult a practitioner before you’re in so much pain and you can barely do other activities.
A 2013 study found that subjects with arthritis and sleep problems experienced higher pain sensitivity, suggesting that lack of sleep may interfere with the way the central nervous system processes pain. Even studies in the general population showed if you disrupt sleep, pain sensitivity and markers of inflammation increase, so making sure you get a good night rest should be a priority!
Do you get enough sleep? What tips do you have to improve sleep and not cause further joint pain as you slumber? Share them with us below.