Disrupted sleep is an often overlooked problem associated with arthritis. The combination of arthritis pain and sleep problems is often a two-way street. Poor quality of sleep and waking pain can create a vicious cycle affecting mood and fatigue levels.
Tips For Good Sleep
Keep regular sleep habits.
Try to get to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day-even on weekends and vacations.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening.
If consumed too close to bedtime, the caffeine in coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and some medications can keep you from sleeping or sleeping soundly. Even though it can make you feel sleepy, drinking alcohol around bedtime also can disturb sleep.
Avoid daytime naps.
Sleeping in the afternoon can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you feel you can't get by without a nap, set an alarm for 1 hour. When it goes off, get up and start moving.
Reserve your bed for sleeping.
Watching the late news, reading a suspense novel, or working on your laptop in bed can stimulate you, making it hard to sleep.
Time your exercise.
Regular daytime exercise can improve nighttime sleep. But avoid exercising within 3 hours of bedtime, which actually can be stimulating, keeping you awake.
- Over One-Third Of People With Arthritis Get No Exercise
- Exercise: Essential Treatment For Arthritis
- How To Exercise When You Have Arthritis
Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
If your bedroom is hot, noisy, or hot, it can make it harder to sleep.
Avoid liquids and spicy meals before bed.
Heartburn and latenight trips to the bathroom are not conducive to good sleep.
Wind down before bed.
Avoid working right up to bedtime. Do relaxing activities, such as listening to soft music or taking a warm bath, that get you ready to sleep. An added benefit of a warm bath is that can soothe aching muscles.
NIH Publication NO. 04-5326, June 2004