You Snooze, You... Win
A research study recently released by the Arthritis Foundation indicates that the relationship between sleep and arthritis is more connected than previously thought. It can be a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep worsens symptoms. In turn, experiencing more painful symptoms more often causes problems falling and staying asleep. Unfortunately, a pattern of poor sleep among people with arthritis can lead to ongoing pain, depression and disability.
How to Prepare for Sleep Each Night
Your pursuit of wellness and high-quality sleep can mean you take too many medications that ultimately make matters worse. The good news is that you can take several actions to improve your sleep patterns naturally. For example, when you avoid using your computer, smartphone or anything that gives off blue light before bed, you help your brain and body make the transition to sleep easier. The artificial light from these devices interferes with hormones. This throws off your natural sleep and wake cycles.
Track Your Sleep Habits
Gain a better insight into your sleep habits and what's impacting them by keeping a sleep diary. The daily journal should include the time you went to bed, when you woke up for the day and whether you felt tired or well-rested as you went about your normal activities. Some other things to write in your sleep diary each day include:
- Whether you drank any alcohol
- The medications you took, if any
- Approximate amount of caffeine consumed
- The types of exercises you completed
- If you dealt with any events that were especially stressful
If you feel concerned that you have a disorder such as sleep apnea, be sure to schedule an appointment with a sleep center for a study. This could provide you with greater insight into your issues, as well as the best ways to manage them.
Waking Up in the Morning
What you accomplish in the first several minutes after waking up in the morning can determine how well you sleep that night. If you exercise regularly, morning is a perfect time since it energizes you for the day ahead. Try limiting caffeine consumption to the morning and no later than early afternoon so your body doesn’t feel too stimulated when bedtime comes.
Sometimes the answer to sleep problems is as simple as selecting different sheets and blankets. If the ones you have now are too heavy, they can keep you awake because you feel uncomfortable. Your rheumatologist can suggest specific bedding brands if you're not certain of what to buy.
Your Next Rheumatology Appointment
Arthritis Center of Lexington can help troubleshoot your current problems and come up with new solutions. It’s possible you may need to start on new medication. Don’t forget to bring your sleep notes to your appointment at Arthritis Center of Lexington.