Do you find your arthritis pain increases in the small hours of the night? If you have trouble sleeping because of joint pain, know that it’s not an uncommon occurrence. According to a recent study published in Rheumatology, people with arthritic pain tend to search relevant terms online more often between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. It is suggested this peak search period correlates with when patients experience the most discomfort.
Reasons people may experience greater stiffness and aches during the night include:
- Decrease in cortisol levels in the body at night. Because cortisol is anti-inflammatory, the body may be more vulnerable to pain in this time.
- Poor sleeping conditions like an uncomfortable mattress or pillow, or other distractions can agitate the body and exacerbate pain.
- Stimulants, like coffee or tea, taken before bed may also affect existing arthritic conditions.
Through changes to sleep habits, coupled with other practices, one can work to improve sleep and pain management at night. Simple steps to help may include:
Stick to a schedule: Determine a time for bed and stay close to schedule. An hour or so before bed, power off digital devices and the television and avoid caffeine. An activity like reading may help you prepare for rest. Avoid naps during the day if possible as they can disrupt your sleep patterns.
Use your bed for sleep: Your bed should serve only for sleeping and intimacy with your partner. When it becomes a base for work or activity, you risk losing sight of its purpose. This helps keep your mind clear for better sleep.
Consult with your doctor: You may need medication or regular physical therapy appointments to aid in pain management and relief. Talk with your orthopaedic physician about your options.
At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our surgeons and therapists provide quality care to patients with arthritis and others with different types of joint pain brought on by injury or illness. Contact us today to learn more about our minimally invasive treatments.
Additional source: Medical News Today