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The Link Between Sleep and Arthritis

The Link Between Sleep and Arthritis

When you sleep, your body is hard at work repairing damaged cells, removing toxins, and subduing inflammation so you can function well the next day. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, your sleep is disrupted … and so is your body’s repair cycle.

Up to 80% of women and men with arthritis have trouble sleeping at night. The pain and stiffness of arthritis itself might be disrupting your sleep. But no matter what the reason for your poor-quality sleep, it affects the health of your joints, and vice versa.

Our board-certified rheumatologists at the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, diagnose and treat arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis — at our locations in Somerville, Flemington, and Monroe, New Jersey. 

No matter what type of arthritis you have, good sleep helps you slow disease progression and complications.

Are you having trouble sleeping with arthritis? This month, we explain why sleep is important and provide some tips on how to improve your sleep to improve your arthritis pain.

Sleep reduces inflammation

Inflammation is part of almost every disease, and it certainly has a role in arthritis. No matter what type of arthritis you have, we always first recommend lifestyle changes to help you reduce the amount of inflammation in your body. 

Inflammation irritates and eventually degrades tissues, including the cartilage and synovium that protect your joints.

Sleep is one way to reduce inflammation. So is eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and getting lots of exercise.

Sleep improves mood and pain tolerance

When you sleep well and deeply, your brain is restored, too. All systems in your body function better, reducing your risk for depression, brain fog, and chronic pain. 

When you’re healthy and sleep well, your central nervous system helps your body regulate pain. But research shows that people who don't sleep well go on to develop abnormalities in the central nervous system pathways that interfere with pain management.

Poor sleep may actually make your joint pain worse. Disrupted sleep or insomnia also raises your risk for eventually becoming disabled due to the disease. 

How to sleep better with arthritis

Although it’s important to understand how essential sleep is to your overall health and to your arthritis, too, it’s equally important not to stress about your poor sleep. Feeling anxious and worried about sleep almost guarantees that you’ll sleep poorly.

We want to help you sleep better and more comfortably so that you can experience more pain-free hours when awake. If arthritis is disrupting your sleep, adopt the following tips to see if they improve your sleep and your overall tolerance for pain:

Pain during the day can crimp your routine. Pain at night can keep you up and make your pain worse. We customize a treatment plan that may include medications and injections to help keep you comfortable so you can get the sleep you need.

For less pain and better sleep with arthritis, feel free to contact us by phone or online form at the office nearest you today. We have locations in Monroe, Flemington, and Somerville, New Jersey.

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