In MS, Smoking May Speed Up Disability, Lower Treatment Effectiveness
October 12, 2018
How to stay active while protecting your joints
October 12, 2018
Show all

Rheumatoid arthritis and insomnia: Tips for better sleep

Rheumatoid arthritis can make it tough to sleep.

People with rheumatoid arthritis may find that pain or discomfort prevents them from falling asleep. Not sleeping well can have an impact on the severity of a person’s symptoms, as well as their general well-being. But there are some things that people can try that may help with sleep.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects more than 1.3 million Americans. Pain, discomfort, and the side effects of medication can make it harder for a person with RA to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults over 18 should get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. Getting less than this on a regular basis can have an impact on a person’s health. Lack of sleep can make RA symptoms worse, and could lead to a flare-up of the disease. Fatigue can make the pain more difficult to manage.

RA and insomnia

RA can cause pain, which may cause stress or worry and prevent a person from getting to sleep. Some people may find that their symptoms cause them to wake during the night.

Some medications, such as prednisone and hydroxychloroquine, also have the side effect of causing sleeplessness. It is a good idea to take these drugs earlier in the day to reduce this effect.

Tips for dealing with insomnia

Tips to deal with insomnia include making lifestyle changes rather than taking medication. Ways to prevent or reduce insomnia include the following:

1. Exercising

Gentle exercise is a meaningful way to reduce or improve RA symptoms. Exercise can also help a person to sleep and can improve mood and well-being.

The CDC recommend that a person does 2.5 hours of moderate exercise every week. However, people with RA should start slowly and build up the amount of activity they do according to their ability. It is better to do a small amount of exercise than nothing at all.

Read on: Rheumatoid arthritis and insomnia: Tips for better sleep

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

Comments are closed.