Many people with arthritis complain of sleep with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). According to a 2003 study by the National Sleep Foundation, three-quarters of adults over 55 with some type of arthritis reported sleep problems. These include not getting enough sleep (less than 6 hours a day), daytime sleepiness, poor sleep quality, insomnia, or other diagnosed sleep disorder.
Rheumatoid arthritis alone is often associated with symptoms, including excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, pain, and depression. And all this can negatively affect the ability to get a healthy sleep. Sleep problems and associated symptoms affect an estimated 54% to 70% of adult patients with RA and include difficulty falling asleep, not restoring sleep, excessive wakefulness during the night, and daytime sleepiness and tiredness. Causes of autoimmune diseases.
There is some evidence that an increase in joint pain interferes with sleep. Such pain can increase body movement during the night and cause breaks in sleep and a decrease in sleep efficiency. Several sleep studies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis have shown that sleep problems are directly related to the activity of the disease. In addition, patients with RA have an increased risk of developing primary sleep disorders, including restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and periodic leg movements.
How to improve your sleep with rheumatoid arthritis
There are a few simple steps you can take to improve your sleep. These steps are designed to provide good sleep hygiene. We usually think of good hygiene in terms of washing hands or cleaning kitchen surfaces, but hygiene also applies to sleep. If we practice good sleep habits, we will be able to improve our abilities to get a complete night’s rest.
Good hygiene recommendations include setting a regular time for bed and getting up in the morning, to make your bed comfortable and to keep your bedroom dark and calm. Make sure you use your bed for sleep only, that you get regular exercise, avoid caffeine or other stimulants during the evening. And take time before bed to relax and get ready for bed. Early signs of RA.
Good Hygiene Guidelines
- Avoid naps during the day.
Snoozing during the day can disrupt our normal way of raising sleep.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day (including on weekends).
If you set a regular time for going to bed and getting up, there is less chance that you will lose your body’s internal clock.
- Avoid stimulants near sleep.
Stimulants, including alcohol, caffeine (coffee, chocolate) and nicotine, can interfere with our ability to sleep peacefully.
- While alcohol can make us sleep fast when it is completely metabolized, it can cause arousal and can start from the next stage of sleep.
- Do not eat too close to sleep.
Eating food at bedtime can cause sleep disturbance. Do not eat large, heavy meals too close to sleep.
- Get enough natural light.
Exposure to natural light will help maintain a healthy sleep cycle.
- Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise is good for your overall health and will improve your sleep with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Develop a relaxation procedure before bedtime.
- Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
It is essential to connect your bed mainly with sleep, so do not read or watch TV in bed. Ideally, you should use your bed only for sleep and sex.
- Make sure your sleeping environment promotes sleep.
- The temperature in your room should not be too hot or cold. Muscle and joint stretching exercises .
What to do if sleep hygiene is not enough
If you continue to have trouble sleeping despite trying to improve your sleep hygiene, talk with your doctor about how to improve sleep. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist who can assess your problem and suggest a treatment plan. Your sleep problems may be related to night pain or depression. Thus, adequate treatment of these conditions can improve your ability to sleep. A doctor who specializes in treating sleep problems may also recommend the use of a number of sedative medications, including selected antidepressants and benzodiazepines.
There are several herbal and other soothing supplements that can be helpful in improving sleep. These include the body’s natural chemical melatonin and herbal supplements Valerian, Kava Kava, and Boswellia.
Talk with your doctor before trying herbal or other supplements to improve your sleep. Since herbal and other supplements may react with pharmaceuticals for rheumatoid arthritis and may pose a risk on their own at too high doses, it is important to discuss the use of these substances with your doctor. Your doctor has the resources and tools to identify possible harmful interactions between medicines, both prescribed and not prescribed, to ensure your safety. In addition, your doctor can help you determine the right dosage for any supplements you decide to use. Diagnosis of rheumatology.
Other treatment options to improve sleep
Different approaches to complementary and alternative medicine may be useful to promote relaxation and help with sleep problems. These include meditation and hypnosis, as well as mental body disciplines such as yoga and tai chi. Some approaches that are effective in relieving pain can be helpful in improving sleep if joint pain is disturbing or sleep is interrupted with rheumatoid arthritis at night.