Sleep Problems and Arthritis: What is the Connection?
When it hurts, it is tough to sleep. That is most probably why so many who have to manage arthritis pains spend half of their nights awake. Research has lead to the conclusion that people with hip and knee osteoarthritis have more chances of having insomnia and day time sleepiness as compared to those without osteoarthritis. Curious now? Here are the answers to your curiosity!
Correlation between Sleep Problems and OsteoarthritisThere is a connection between sleep problems and osteoarthritis. Experiencing pain is a part of the whole equation. Studies have proved that the connection between the two is complication as well as reciprocal. So both these two conditions are known to coexist. A publication study called the SLEEP made in 2012, gave a glimpse of the poor sleep quality of people with chronic pain together with osteoarthritis. Take a look at what researchers had to say. There was no relation between the way people slept and their pain intensity. But if a person doesn’t get proper sleep, their pain intensity would increase the next day.
Disrupting Your Partner’s SleepWhen osteoarthritis interferes with your sleep, there is a possibility that it will disturb your partner’s sleep as well. Researchers have found that when a osteoarthritis patient have joint or knee pain by nightfall, his partner or spouse is not able to get sleep as well and less likely to be refreshed the next day. It was not a case of their partner tossing and turning all night. On further research, it was found that if two people shared a close bond, it is more than likely that the partner do not get a good sleep. The reason behind is further explained saying that their sleep quality is compromised because of deep empathy regarding their partners’ pain.
Research between Osteoarthritis and SleepMore researchers have gone on board to study more about the relationship between sleep and osteoarthritis pain. They have done an experimental study to introspect the associations related to sleep inhibiting behaviour, sleep and the pain amongst osteoarthritis patients. “We hypothesize that people with osteoarthritis may engage in behaviours that are not conducive to sleep, which in turn may affect their perception of pain,” says study investigator Megan Ruiter Petrov, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow now at the Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation. Examples of such behaviours include keeping an irregular sleep schedule, napping during the day, watching TV or eating too much before bed or keeping the bedroom noisy or uncomfortable. They are hopeful that their new research methods would help them to treat sleep problems rather than finding a cure for the pain.
Tips to Improve on your SleepYou can opt for medicines to relieve your joint pain but in some cases, it can lead to side effects. Here are a few other sleeping tactics you can instead. Try to avoid eating a heavy dinner before bed, which includes beverages like alcohol. Refrain from watching television inside the bedroom; make sure that your bedroom is comfortable, serene and dark. Avoid using heavy blankets or beddings as it add more pressure on your painful joints. It is better to take pressure off your joints by not using those heavy blankets while sleeping in a bed with posts and which could lift covers off the body. Apart from everything else, make sure that you stick to a sleep timetable. Having a set and wakeup timetable is essential for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Do indulge in some physical activity of which you are capable of doing. A relaxing bath together with comfortable clothing will also help. Address your sleep problems first to manage your joint pain better and this in turn will improve the quality of life. Is there anything else you would like to add to this article?
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