Osteoarthritis And Insomnia: Tips To Help You Get More Restful Sleep

According to WebMD, approximately 27 million Americans deal with the painful symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. If your life has been impacted by osteoarthritis, which is a common type of arthritis that causes joint pain and inflammation, chances are you've made several lifestyle changes to help you manage your symptoms. Unfortunately, there might be another aspect of your life that is being impacted by osteoarthritis: sleep. If your osteoarthritis is preventing you from getting a good night's sleep, here are a few tips to help you get the relief you need.

The Connection Between Osteoarthritis and Insomnia

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, your inability to fall asleep or stay asleep is often linked to pain. The pain associated with osteoarthritis can make it difficult for you to get comfortable and stay comfortable throughout the night, which will impact your ability to get a good night's sleep. Unfortunately, if you're not getting enough sleep, it can make your osteoarthritis pain even worse.

In addition to your osteoarthritis symptoms, you might also have another underlying condition that is impacting your sleep. For example, if you suffer from sleep apnea, which is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing for short periods of time while you sleep, it can also make your insomnia and sleep quality worse.

Visit a doctor at a clinic like Arthritis Associates of Kingsport to determine if osteoarthritis is what's impacting your sleep.

Invest in a New Mattress

Purchasing a new mattress is one simple way to get a better night's sleep if you are suffering from osteoarthritis. If your mattress is older or too firm, it can exacerbate your osteoarthritis symptoms. Instead, choose a mattress that is soft but provides you with the support you need to feel comfortable.

If you don't have the money for a pricey pillowtop mattress, consider purchasing a pillowtop or memory foam mattress pad, instead.

If your new mattress is soft, but isn't providing your aching joints with the support they need during the night, invest in a few new pillows. Place the pillows under your affected joints to help keep them comfortable and supported throughout the night.

Heat Therapy

Applying heat to your affected joints is a great way to find relief. If your osteoarthritis pain seems to worsen at night, apply gentle heat for several minutes before you climb into bed. For example, if your knees are impacted by osteoarthritis, place a heating pad on the affected joint for several minutes. Everyday Health recommends keeping the warm heat on your joints for at least 10 minutes.

If you find that 10 minutes simply doesn't provide you with the relief you need, you can apply heat longer. However, Everyday Health recommends taking a break from the heat before you place the heating pad on your aching joints.

Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Improving your sleep hygiene, which is the environment in which you sleep, is a great way for anyone to get restful sleep, not just individuals suffering from osteoarthritis. Here are a few simple ways to improve your sleep hygiene:

  • Keep it dark. Turn off all the lights, draw the shades, and make sure your room is as dark as possible. Any light can stimulate your brain, which will make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
  • Turn off your devices. Put your smartphone or tablet away before you climb into bed. The blue light emitted from your gadgets will also stimulate your brain.
  • Maintain a regular bedtime routine. Going to bed each night and waking up each morning on a regular routine will help regulate your sleep cycles, which will help you sleep better at night, and feel better during the day.

Finally, it is important that your body associates bed with sleep. Try to avoid lounging in your bed during the day and only enjoy it when it is time to get some sleep.

The debilitating symptoms associated with osteoarthritis can greatly impact your ability to get a good night's sleep. If your insomnia is impacting your daily life, don't hesitate to contact your physician.