My Arthritis Sleep Tips

If you live with arthritis, or any chronic pain condition, you will know how much it affects our sleep. Over the past 2 years, I’ve been trying different methods to get a better night’s sleep. The best change I made was getting a new mattress and finding the right pillow for me (a new article, coming soon). Everybody is different. What works for me might not work for you, and visa-versa. But here are some things that I’ve found helpful. These don’t always work, but sometimes these arthritis sleep tips do help insomnia.

My arthritis sleep tips that help my insomnia:

Medication

I set alarms to make sure I do not miss when I should be taking my meds. I have 2 tablets that I take at nighttime. I take these 2 hours apart as I realized when taken together, I experience awful night terrors.  If I know that it is going to be a high-pain night, I will take some pain meds before I sleep and hope that my pain does not wake me.

Yoga

I’ve been practicing yoga for a couple of years now. About an hour before bed, I practice gentle yoga for 15-20 minutes. I turn off my light and put on my lamp. I light a candle and put on some relaxing music. Normally, I listen to Norah Jones or Katie Melua.

I stretch my body in the most relaxing way while taking deep mindful breaths. This relaxes both my mind and my body. It rids my mind of any anxious or negative thoughts. Yoga stretches my body which helps me to be less stiff which in turn helps lower my pain levels throughout the night.

Baths or hot showers

I will always have a bath or a hot shower before bed. The hot water helps ease my pains. A warm bath with a calming scented bath bomb always gets me ready for a relaxing night in bed!

Sleeping with heat

Heat is my best friend. I cannot sleep without some sort of heat on my joints. Often, I sleep with 3 hot water bottles. One for my tailbone and hip, one for my lower back, and one for my upper back. But some nights I find that they are too uncomfortable to sleep on.

So, I bought an electric heating blanket. This goes under my bed sheet. I have it plugged into a timer, so it turns on and off throughout the night. The heat helps reduce my pain; therefore, I have a better night's sleep! Heat doesn’t work for everyone. If ice works better for you try sleeping with some ice packs!

A cold bedroom

I sleep better in a cold room. Maybe this is because my bed is so warm from the hot water bottles or the electric blanket. When my room is cold, I tend not to wake up as often. I have a fan in my room that is controlled by a remote. I keep this remote on my bedside locker in case I ever wake up too hot. This way I don’t need to get up out of bed to turn it off.

A sleep routine

I haven’t quite mastered having a good sleep routine yet, but I will continue to try. I do the same things every night before bed. For example, bath/shower and skincare routine.  I find when I go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning it helps my overall sleep pattern. Insomnia does put a stop to this, but I won't stop until I have my routine down to a tee!

I would love to hear if you have any tips when it comes to sleep!

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