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Don't Let Rheumatoid Arthritis Steal Your Sleep

By Donna Stark

Aren't you tired of how rheumatoid arthritis affects your days? Tired of the daily pain and uncomfortable stiffness throughout your body? Or are you just plumb tired? Constant fatigue and low energy are what many people experience as their body tries to combat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. But unfortunately, that isn't even the worst part of the situation because rheumatoid arthritis is relenting, and if you think you can recover from its effects by getting a good night of sleep, you may be dreaming.

Finding Your Sleep

Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis is a draining process and one that would be better if only you could get adequate rest at night, but sadly, that doesn't always happen. The pain that is caused by it can oftentimes be excruciating, so excruciating in fact, that it can easily interfere with your ability to get quality sleep at night and can actually lead to the following problems.

  • Inability to fall asleep
  • Frequent awakenings
  • Fragmented periods of rest
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia

The Benefits of Good Rest

The reason why quality sleep is so important for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis is that sleep loss is associated with greater pain severity, increased risk of depression, and decreased levels of mobility. It's a vicious circle, but how can one overcome these sleep problems? Let's take a look at a few strategies that can help minimize pain and improve a person's overall quality of sleep.

  • Take a hot shower or bath - The combination of heat and water can help relieve pain and stiffness in your muscles and joints.
  • Buy an electric blanket - Just like a hot bath, only in the comfort of your bed. Use it for 20 minutes then be sure to turn it off before you fall asleep.
  • Ice it up - Applying ice to your swollen and sore joints may bring some relief and can decrease the amount of inflammation.
  • Create a positive sleep environment - Create a bedroom that is conducive to sleep. Invest in a good mattress, purchase extra pillows to relieve pressure on your joints, and keep your room dark, cool, and quiet.  
  • Stay active - Daily exercise with low-impact activities can help improve flexibility in the joints, increase range of motion, and reduce pain and swelling. It can also help a person sleep better at night and manage mood swings more effectively.

Finding Your Sleep

Sleep is essential for everyone's overall health and wellness, but it is particularly crucial for people with rheumatoid arthritis. If you, or a loved one, are struggling with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, try some of the suggestions above. Hopefully, they can help you get the rest you need!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brookfield, Wis.

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