How Does a Lack of Sleep Make Arthritis Worse?

How Does a Lack of Sleep Make Arthritis Worse?

Arthritis can make it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep, but many people still resist the idea of buying an adjustable bed to help make drifting off easier. Thats a real mistake. Missing out on sleep isnt just bad in and of itself it could also make your arthritis worse.

Compromises Your Immune System

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is linked to a compromised immune system, and a lack of sleep will also compromise your immune system. You see, its during sleep that the immune system produces protective chemicals to fight infection. If you have RA and also suffer from a lack of sleep, your immune system will be doubly compromised.

Increases Stress Hormones

Something many people dont know is that problems with the bodys sleep cycle can lead to an increase in stress hormones. Elevated levels of stress hormones can play havoc with your body, and they can even make flare ups more likely. The best way to avoid this is to ensure your bedroom set up is as comfortable as possible. Some arthritis sufferers find that being able to sleep with their legs raised can help boost their circulation which in turn lets them sleep more comfortably. Adjustable beds allow you to choose your preferred sleep position easily.

Reduces Healing Time

Its no coincidence that we wake up after a healthy amount of sleep feeling refreshed and revitalised. After all, its during sleep that the body repairs itself. If, for example, youve been running, its mainly during the night that your leg muscles are made stronger. You might not have been tackling any marathons, but youll still have been using your muscles and placing pressure on your joints throughout the day. If they arent allowed a chance to rest and heal, youre almost certainly going to experience discomfort come the morning.

Leads to Irritability

Okay, feeling tired and irritable isnt directly making your arthritis worse, but it will make the condition significantly harder to deal with. People often underestimate how stressful and testing it can be, and having to cope with a lack of sleep at the same time can prove the straw that broke the camels back. A positive attitude should be one of your main weapons against arthritis, and it can be very tough to stay positive when, night after night, you arent getting enough rest.