How Are Other People Managing Sleep Problems with RA?
Last updated: March 2022
Sleep issues are common in many people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
In fact, results from the 2019 RA In America Survey showed that 80 percent of survey participants living with RA have experienced difficulty sleeping. This includes difficulty falling asleep or waking up multiple times during the night.
Managing sleep problems with rheumatoid arthritis
Sleeping Well: Wren’s 5 Ways
"Let’s face it: sleeping is sometimes tough as nails for those of us who live with rheumatoid disease. Joint pain, which runs the gamut from mild-but-annoying to oh-man-just-shoot-me-now severe, can totally ruin a good night’s sleep. And then there’s the drugs we take to treat the disease and its symptoms."
The Importance of Zzzzzzzzz
"For those of us with rheumatoid arthritis, sleep can be even more critical, as getting enough rest has been shown to increase immune function and even decrease pain sensitivity. While I’ve always noticed that my RA symptoms decrease at least a little bit with a good night’s sleep, I never would have guessed that I may have actually decreased my sensitivity to the pain in my joints while I slumbered."
What (if anything) have you tried to help with sleep issues? (Check all that apply!)
Sleep, RA, and Acceptance
"I rolled over to look at the clock, intrinsically dreading the thought of knowing what time it was. 2:00 AM. Great. I had just gone to bed at midnight and had thought I slept longer than two hours. I was startled awake by this curious and alarming pain growing in my shoulders."
The Sleep Machine
"I was recently diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea after having a sleep study test. This condition means that my airway closes while I am sleeping, which causes me to choke or not breathe during sleep and can damage the heart over the long-term. Sleep apnea can also severely hamper quality of sleep, contributing to increased tiredness during the day and general feeling of fatigue."
Monica Y. Sengupta
" Even during stressful times, my sleep hygiene was pretty good. I went to bed at the same time and woke up sort of, maybe, in the general vicinity of the same hour every morning. I never pulled all-nighters (I wasn’t cool enough for those) and only took naps early in the day. That all went to you-know-where in a handbasket when I began exhibiting symptoms for RA."
The RA In America 2019 Survey was conducted online from June through September of 2019. A total of 3736 people completed the survey.
Did you know rheumatologist Dr. Donica Baker is answering community questions?
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